Category Archives: Choices

Southwest Airlines Delivers Goodwill

southwest airlines

Things have not been good for Southwest Airlines on the PR front lately, but Ronn Torossian says a recent decision may just put them back on even footing. It’s the sort of thing that used to be called “customer service” but is fairly rare these days. A thing that Southwest can justifiably be proud about.

Here’s the story, as reported by travel correspondent Andrew Der:

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Filed under Choices, Juda Engelmayer

Understanding and Assessing Risk through Risk Management

Risk management is an area of business that offers a firm great savings potential when making complicated decisions. The tenets of the traditional philosophy allow consultants to bring a different kind of focus to their analysis, asking them to look for areas in which a firm might be exposed to greater risk during the course of a project or process.
At Cane Bay Partners, there is a wealth of team experience working with the identification of risk factors that can then be compared to alternative options to provide a quantified experience for managers that want to optimize their company’s performance through a different lens- success.

When Does Risk Management Apply?

As consultants, risk management work for major clients comes about through their request or through our own analysis. Because there are a multiplicity of reasons that someone would want to have risk management practices applied to their specific project, there will be times where taking the first step to identify the indicators that are necessary could be better performed by contacting us first.
We can not only provide you with means-based models that help to define your environment effectively, we can also train your staff in what to look for to determine whether or not most of the apparatus used in formal risk management actually applies well to each process or project that you are considering it for.

It goes without saying that once those factors are identified, they can be measured to provide you with a detailed analyses.

Because time is money and efficiency is another hallmark of any consulting firm, answering the question ‘When does risk management apply?’ often includes discussion of the concept of ROI or Return on Investment. Cane Partners can not only provide you with risk analysis services then, but they can also build in analysis of that analysis to show you what your return on investment is for having undertaken the journey. If you are training in-house people to recognize risk, in a short amount of time, they will have developed a data set that helps provide financial impetus for doing analyses in specific situations.

Strategic Planning using Risk Management Inputs

Another area where companies traditionally can use outside input is when risk analysis meets the strategic planning process. Moving forward cannot be done without strategic planning and utilizing the know-how and experience of a team like that of Cane Partners can help bring the type of decision-making advice prowess that has been relied upon worldwide for a number of years.

So if you feel there may be a need for risk management services in the future, consider contacting Cane Partners for a consultation.


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The Souls in the Land are the Only Reasons for the Land

Juda Engelmayer March 8th 2012
Salim Joubran
Salim Joubran

It was May 7, 2004, when Salim Joubran was given a position on Israel’s Supreme Court. The day that he became the first permanent member of the Court from the Israeli Arab community should have been the day the world realized that Israel was in fact a democracy like none other in its region. Justice Joubran knew that as well, and he also knew what Israel was why it was formed and how he managed to rise through its ranks as a Christian and not a Jew.

It would seem odd, or possibly some act of defiance, when the New York Times carried a story about Justice Joubran earlier this week, presumably refusing to sing the Israel national anthem because the words “Nefesh Yehudi homiyah,” which means “A Jewish soul still yearns,” do not apply to him.

The anthem was not new to him when he became a lawyer, nor when he became a Supreme Court judge. It may indeed be an uncomfortable concept to sing, let alone believe by one who is not Jewish. It highlights the delicate tightrope Israel walks in its pursuit of peace and prosperity through the promotion of democratic statehood.

For Jews, living in Israel ironically removes Jewish identity from the everyday life of the average Jew. Unlike most places, where for many, Jewish identity is worn on our sleeves so to speak; on our heads actually for some, but also with the often uncomfortable vacation requests at work, among the other unique aspects of Jewish life. In Israel, Jewish holidays are the State holidays and no one really feels out of place donning a skullcap. With Judaism all around, maybe the overtly Jewish words should, or maybe other ubiquitous Jewish symbolisms should be removed to make those not of one of the 12 Tribes feel as comfortable.

There is a movement among a growing group of secular Israelis, Jewish ones mostly, to eliminate the Jewishness from the State itself. The fights between the ultra orthodox and those less so have been growing to the point where they have made the front pages of some of the world’s most antagonistic-to-Israel media venues. These differences only enhance the calls by the secular Israelis, as they see the belligerence of the right toward Zionism, secularism and modernity growing, and an unyielding intransigence when it comes to economic or social contributions beyond their own communities.

In the efforts to highlight the extremist nature of Israel, as they print their political opposition to such issues as Judean and Samarian expansion and retaining defensible borders, leftist media take the truly offensive nature of the assaults on women and secular Jews by these pockets of Hareidim and promote them as the mainstream occurrences of the Jewish state.

That serves Israel’s detractors as it equates the Jewish state with the radicalized Islamic countries that purport to see her smothered. The fact is that when relatively small extremist activity perpetuated by Jews occurs it is often promoted to a grander degree and with more international disdain than the malignant fanaticism that everyday Arab men, women and children face each day in many of the countries that challenge Israel’s existence. Those nations often get a free pass from criticism, as Israel is held to a different standard. Yet, I digress into a whole other topic altogether.

Jewish identity is so prevalent in Israel through its population and character that the argument is made asserting Jewish identification markers built into its government and national themes, like the Hatikvah are not needed.

The debate rocks between Israel’s left and right. While some want to make it harder for non Jews and non-believing Jews to participate, some on the left urge making Israel more inclusive; essentially, making it nothing more than the United States on the Mediterranean.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence ensures “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” The irony, however, is that this issue was sparked over an Arab judge from Haifa who has a permanent seat on The Jewish state’s highest court. Some would argue that he has been treated as Israel declared it would. The judge, for his part, just stood quietly while others made the issue of his choice.

These are difficult considerations and the resulting answers are not clear, nor do they follow conventional logic. To be a true democracy, Israel would needs to cede its Jewish identity, but to do so, would make it impossible for Israel to remain a Jewish homeland, safe from future persecution and expulsion. As history keeps repeating, majority populations will at some point turn on its Jewish citizens.

Jews have been pushed in every location on earth, and treated as pariahs throughout history. They have been jailed, tortured, forced to renounce their religion and beliefs or just killed for being Jews. Yet, they endured as a people and have outlived their ancient enemies, and are poised to face their new ones, whoever they are.

Born from the Levant where the G-d Abram had worshiped offered to make him a great nation if he left his home and family, the Jewish religion and the specific land are unequivocally tied to one another. This makes the Jewish yearning for Israel not just a slogan, but a compulsion as strong as the belief in G-d itself. It is the main reason why when Theodore Herzl were searching for a land the Jews could emigrate to, escaping the Russian pogroms in 1905, the Seventh Zionist Congress rejected the Uganda Program, believing that only in Israel could Jews truly be free.

Israel is, therefore an anomaly and needs to be treated as one. It is not as any other country, because it is not merely about acreage and capricious borders, but an ancient calling said to be made by the G-d of the oldest monotheistic religion in the world.

Fanatical Hareidim aside, for secular Jews to feel that the religious nature of the country is too cumbersome, for non Jews to feel that the Hatikvah is too Jewish, or for both to want to make Israel a secular sanctuary, the only answer has to be no.

One can be irreligious in Israel and still be its prime minister. One can be an Arab in Israel and be a Supreme Court judge, weighing in on the most important matters affecting the internal working of the country. Yet, if the Judaism is taken out of Israel, Jews may as well be in Florida and not suffer, struggle, fight, and not remember those who died creating, defending and living in the land where Jews are destined to call home.

Israel devoid of the Soul of the Jew is nothing more than soil and sand, and certainly not worth the blood, sweat and tears of the countless who have poured all three into its building; creating the hope for the Jews and an oasis in the gloom of the Middle East.

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR


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Filed under anti-Semitism, Choices, Crisis Management, Cutting Edge News, Israel, Juda Engelmayer, Judasim

Mayor Dean Helps Unload as Angels Roll in with Food for the Needy

Mayor Dean Helps Unload as Angels Roll in with Food for the Needy
Having heard the calls for help and seeing the dire conditions there, Pastor Joe Wingo, CEO of Angel Food rallied support
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Filed under Choices, Christian Zionism, Crisis Management, Evangelsim

Redeye Thoughts

The moon is full and bright; it’s so beautiful as it reflects off the clouds that we fly above. They seem as gray marble, with a gentle silhouette of orange light glowing in non descriptive patterns below. The moon keeps watch over us, like a guiding light showing us the way home. It’s almost surreal to watch the sky, blackened blue with nothing but the sun’s eastern reflection and the tiny star trying so hard way behind it.

I’ve been on dozens of planes and have flown through every climate, in every season, but tonight I see the moon looking back at me. Its stalking me like I’ve never seen it do before. The wondrous rock that shadows the earth each day is talking to me as we begin our descent toward home.

I don’t know what to make of it at first, and I gaze upon it with curiosity and amazement. Then it dawns on me as it seems to be looking through my small window in the sky, as the water below glistens in its mighty glow. It is telling me that there is light in the darkness; that possibilities abound. The sun always shines even when we can’t see it, and its light will always shine as long as I am willing to see.

The night is dark, but the darkness is calming as I realize that the sun is always close by.

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR

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By: Noah Engelmayer

Living in New York, I would never have expected to find something as fun anywhere else. Here, I get to see it all, the lights in Times Square, great Broadway shows, the best hamburgers at Le Marais steak house in Midtown, and everything else New York has to offer. I take the subway by myself, I walk to my cousins’ home, and I can buy fruit roll ups at the store and get a pizza delivered at midnight. What more can I want?

While many of my friends had taken trips around the world by the time they were five, my parents decided to do something different. We chased storms and disasters around the country for fun. Instead of putting us on a 12-hour plane ride, we started with short car trips and worked our way up.

So we saw a slice of America that so many New Yorkers never get to see. I like to call it the Diners Drive-ins and Dives tour—kind of like the show my dad and I watch on the Food Network. The one difference:  almost every place we went was destroyed right after. There is something weird about that.

We spent a week in Biloxi. Mississippi—Hurricane Katrina made sure that we couldn’t do that again. What I remember fondly, however, are the white beaches and the glistening waters off the Gulf. I know it well because when nothing else was on, my parents always had the TV on HBO, and Tom Hanks is yelling at his best friend—a volleyball.

Now, back to Mississippi.

We were on a hot beach in Biloxi, I was four years old and swimming in the ocean. All I can remember is my parents laughing as I kept yelling “Wilson” to my imaginary Wilson Sports volleyball friend from that movie. I also remember my oldest sister kissing a sea lion and holding a parrot —she had just gotten over her fear of animals. We got a dog that fall.

That same summer we visited New Orleans; what a shame, Katrina got that too.

I remember playing “New York, New York” on the rims of wet glasses as a street vendor taught me how to play. There were so many odd people, and a man—I think it was a man—in copper paint holding a torch and looking like the Statue of Liberty. He kept following me and would stop every time I’d turn around. I guess the fact that he was always behind me was the clue that I needed. I distinctly remember saying that it was “always Purim” there; you know, that Jewish festival often compared to Halloween? The main difference is that on Purim we remember a time when the Jews were to be destroyed, but were miraculously saved—let’s eat and be merry. Oh, that’s the theme of every Jewish holiday…

So, the next summer we found ourselves in Nashville, Tennessee. We city folk found fun at the Grand Ole Opry and learned to like country music. Nashville is still standing, so that’s a good thing. We went walking in Memphis (that’s a song) and spent a day at Graceland, where Elvis lived and died. What a house, what a life. It was great. What struck me there was that he was big into Christian gospel, yet some of his biggest checks to charity displayed on his walls were large sums written to the local Jewish organizations. I found that nice. I also like the peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches he made so famous.

It didn’t end there, though. We saw an Elvis impersonator perform a whole concert. We liked it so much, we saw it again the next night. We couldn’t help falling in love with his music.

The next year we found ourselves on a cruise. It was supposed to be a cruise to somewhere, but ended up being a cruise to get away from everywhere. You see, we were supposed to disembark from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but the wind was so heavy that we were shuttled from the airport to Tampa. After that four-hour ride, we met the boat and were to head to the Florida Keys, the Everglades and Cancun, Mexico. The mean Hurricane Katrina thought otherwise. She destroyed much of the Glades back then and our boat ended cruising 12 miles off the coast of Cuba to stay away from the swells.

I remember docking at port in Cancun, and it was a beautiful day. As soon as we were far enough from the boat, the skies opened up and it poured like I had never seen rain before. Yet the beer was one dollar a bottle and they served kids my age. That was a fun day.

So our boat rocked and rolled and bounced us all the way home. Royal Caribbean ended up giving us half the money back. So that worked out well.

In Phoenix, Arizona, one year later. Yup, we went to the Sedona Red Rock canyons and had to run away when the wildfires burned out of control. We were dead center again in disaster—and trust me, Arizona is hot enough without a big fire. Still, it was fun. My cousins joined us for that trip. We went to a Wild West city and got locked in a jail.

Let’s not forget Dallas, Texas, and the Fort Worth Stockyards. I rode a Longhorn—then I ate one. We saw our first real rodeo in Mesquite, and a real stretch pickup truck with the longhorns on the grill. That’s country.

Yet, little compares to my time in Monroe, Georgia. We have these friends with such a large property, they let me drive cars and golf carts all over. It was all fun. We have done so much. I bet not many of the people I know from New York have seen our country as I have.

They should!


Filed under Children, Choices

Musings as I Clear up the Writer’s Block

Getting over writer’s block seems to harder than I anticipated. The things that usually inspire me have been languishing in my head, and the events around us all do not generate the excitement I would hope for. Whether it is Swine Flu, Chrysler‘s imminent failure, GM’s collapse, Somali pirates or my Labrador Jessie living a comfortable and lazy life as she yawns and stretches and closes her eyes again, I seem to feel that committing thoughts to words right now is just a burden I don’t want.

Today is my son’s 11th birthday, and that is something I will take joy and excitement in. Watching him grow, watching all three grow, in fact, has been the best part of my adult life. When you see your own contributions to their evolution take shape, it should inspire the best in all of us. Tonight, we will take Noah out to dinner with a small group of family and friends. He doesn’t want a party for everyone, but a small group of those he cares about.

Come to think of it, all of our kids are like that. My oldest turns 16 in June, but doesn’t want a blown-up sweet sixteen celebration. Considering what it could cost and could entail, I ought to be grateful, and trust me, I am.

He will get a nice watch that he saw me wear and decided he wanted it. It’s a thin winding watch with a black strap, white face and pretty display. Lately, Noah has been taking more pride in his appearance, donning a pinstriped suit to synagogue. This week, he put on a crisp blue shirt and yellow tie and asked that I dry clean his shirts now. He said the home wash doesn’t leave him looking as he wishes. That’s my boy. When I saw his ensemble, I too wore a pinstriped suit, blue shirt and yellow tie to shul. I never thought of dressing my kids alike, or dressing like my kids. I usually find that whole situation plain goofy. I caved, it was cute. He was all smiles too.

Our middle child is heading to Israel on Mother’s Day with her class for their senior trip. This was such a memorable event for our eldest, she learned a love for Israel though exploration, study, prayer, camaraderie and just breathing the Mediterranean air. When we learned that the economy and Madoff’s thievery caused parents to withhold funding, hence canceling the trip – replaced by a visit to Pennsylvania and a theme park – we decided to try and raise the funds ourselves. This is a once in a lifetime experience, and quite selfishly, we didn’t want Talia to be the only of the three to lose out, assuming that in coming years it will be restored with ease and our 11 year old would go as is the normal routine.

Well, the school needed $25 thousand, we raised less than ten. It isn’t easy to do this at this time. We are funding the rest. It’s part of our tithe for the year. I guess our other charities are on hold, but I am so happy she will have this chance. As far as Israel, this will not be her first rodeo; yet the experience school offers: priceless.  She leaves on Mother’s Day and returns on the day I turn 40. I think I hear “Sunrise, Sunset” playing in my head now.

I guess that’s all for now. I have to work, Jessie moved from the floor to the couch and the Swine Flu and the imminent death of the Trans Am seem to be the news of the day. It reminds me of a good time and disappointment too.

My uncle taught me to drive on a yellow 1975 Firebird S/E with the hood scoops and a fire stripe across the car. It had the 455 V8, a white interior, honeycomb rims, it was fast, sweet and the coolest car I had ever driven (by the time I was seven. I have since driven cooler cars…). It was supposed to be my car when I got my license ten years later, but the car didn’t make it to my 17th. It was gone a year earlier. My first car was a yellow 1972 Ford LTD. Not quite the same.  My uncle later “upgraded” me to a white 1980 Buick Skylark, but it made me long for the Ford.  From that Skylark I went to the 1982 Dodge Challenger, then we upgraded to the first Ford Taurus 5 Speed called the MT-5, a 1987 to be exact.  Loving the five speed, but hating the underpowered 4 cylinder, we sold Boris the Taurus to our friends and picked up a very sweet 1990 Ford SHO in metallic red. We ended selling that to our friends who’s exact car was destroyed in the 1999 Seward Park Housing garage collapse.  We had kids and the trunk was too small.  We replaced it with a 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Woody.  In retrospect, we have had a pretty eclectic collection of cars through the ages.  These days we opt for new cars that tend to be more reliable.  Choices…

April 28th, 2015 –

I need to update this piece.  I wrote it on my son’s 11th birthday and he just turned 17 and got his drivers license,  To add to my own sense of having been deprived as child, he starts his driving days in a 2011 Ford Fusion AWD with a pretty cool sporty interior.

Noahs car

Noahs car

Noahs car

Noahs car

My ladies share a 2011 Buick Lacrosse SEL, and Debbie and I share a 2015 Taurus SHO and a 2013 Lincoln MKT.  Throughout the 2000s we owned a 1998 and 2001 Ford Expedition.  We traded to a smaller car in the 2004 Honda Pilot.  Then we drove the now out of business 2007 Saturn Outlook.  Then we took a 2010 Lincoln MKT.  When we moved, we took on a 2012 Taurus SHO which we traded for the newest one, and a MKT as well.

My 21 year girl is engaged and my 19 year old is smart as hell.

So that’s it for now. Hi Ho, Hi Ho.

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR

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Filed under Children, Choices, Family, Life

The Road to Forgiveness may be the Path the Ruin

“Zachor Et Asher Asa Lecha Amalek BaDerech Betzetchem MiMitzrayim”, or “Remember what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt!” (Deuteronomy 25:17).

On Saturday, March 3, 2009, during the Sabbath prayers, Jewish worshippers listened to the portion known as Parshat Zachor (The Chapter of Remembrance). God commanded Jews to never forget the deeds of Esau’s grandson, Amalek. Oddly enough, the Amalekites survived, seemingly through the ages, to hunt down the Jews and continue their persecution because of simple compassion of the very people Amalek was born to destroy.

In Samuel 1, 15:2-3, God says, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

Yet, when King Saul has the opportunity to do just that, he waged war against Amalek and wins, but at the request of his subjects, the cattle are spared, and worse perhaps, Saul’s misplaced mercy allows Agag, the king of the Amalekites, to live. As the poet Robert Frost said it so eloquently many thousands of years later, after two roads diverged in a yellow wood, Saul chose a path “that has made all the difference”.

Such is life when misguided kindness leads to ruin. It is a harsh lesson, and many kind souls are unable to learn, so they get themselves hurt in the end. It is good to be good, and charitable to be lenient and forgiving. The Lord’s Prayer advises dutiful Christians to “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” and Jews derive from Genesis, 20:17, that “Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech“.

Yet, we learn from Amalek that we need to be cautious in how we dole out that forgiveness. Many times wolves appear in sheep’s clothing, and we fail to see them before it is too late. Yet, other times the wolves appear as they are, and we just see a cute, cuddly animal. That’s humanity, but it can bite back hard.

A true test of faith and human spirit is in the ability to measure the need to forgive and overlook transgressions, with the need to douse out the flames of the wicked.

This is but a prelude to a bigger story. Stay tuned…

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR

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Filed under Choices, Christian Zionism, Evangelsim, Judasim

You Only Live Twice

Here I am up at 4AM watching the off variety of entertainment offerings scattered about 5000 channels on Dish Network. With a lot on my mind, I stirred until I just woke up. Unable to go back to sleep, I decided to attempt to write my thoughts down in the hopes of making sense of some of them. Well, that\’s not working too well; it seems that writer\’s block is an effective constraint.

Ian Flemming\’s \”You Only Live Twice\” is on some channel called EACTN, and I have no idea what that channel even is, so I Googled it. It\’s Encore Action – I suppose it is livelier that Encore\’s other channel, Encore Sedentary; seems more appropriate for 4:26 AM.

I digress. I was struck by the title of that Sean Connery Bond flick, as lately I have come to believe that perhaps people do get second chances in life. Admittedly, the poor graphics and ridiculous dialogue make me wonder how this title meshes with the truth, but from my own experience, I see it to be so.

There is a lot in life that could use a second chance. Some wish for new love, others, perhaps, for a different career. There used to be a clever commercial on television with the slogan \”There are No Do Overs in Life\”, and Hillary Clinton used the line too when discussing her vote on the Iraq invasion. While it is just about impossible to turn the clock back, it seems quite possible for second chances. By learning from errors, recovering from setbacks and not accepting when the breaks are beating the boys, and you take the chance, you can come back.

You only live twice is a lesson for the strong.

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR

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Remembering our Loved Ones

In synagogue today, my rabbi took the occasion of his weekly sermon to talk about the weekly Torah portion of Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23). While all of the Ten Commandments were indeed discussed, he paid close attention to the part about honoring ones parents. Very poignantly, I recall, he said that it is a commandment that carries the benefit of long life should one adhere properly; in his opinion, rendering it both, important and very hard to do.  I know that to be awfully true. However, my rabbi framed the difficulties of that honor with age, and the burdens that an infirmed and immobile parent can have on children in the prime of their lives. While true too, it didn’t really speak to the very disparate issues of parents who have not truly fulfilled their roles as such, and thus, in a modern sense, may not merit the blind courtesy the Torah seems to require.

Not trying to disparage anyone, or use this forum as a patent setting for airing dirty laundry, but I am guilty of violating the very basic act of the commandment of Kibud Av V’aim (honoring your mother and father). Neither is infirmed or ill in the physical sense, but also, neither have been, in my father’s own words,  conventional parents (or parents at all) or the role models I would have hoped my children would have. It saddens me, it is hard to say, but it is the truth as I see it. In recent months, my mother has been trying harder and tries to see our children at least once a week. My father, who is a pulpit rabbi about 20 miles from our home, seems to have more classes, weddings, funerals and Bris celebrations to attend than days in a week and time; and our kids saw him last perhaps one year ago.

During the course of my rabbi’s speech, he acknowledged the 200th year anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln as a father of the country we live in, and our need to honor such parents as well. He then compared that to the 100th birthday of a scion in my synagogue and neighborhood, a founding father of the synagogue, and welcomed us all to this gentleman’s home to pay tribute to him, his birthday, his accomplishments for the community and family and just for being a long time friend of everyone’s.

This Centenarian, who still comes to synagogue when he can, and offers to help out when he does, must have truly been a devotee of the Fifth Commandment. What struck me, though, is that he was also a close friend, as I recall, of my mother’s parents, my dear bubby and zaidy, who were taken from me so young. In 1980, at the age of 72, Sam Schneider passed, and in 1983, at 63, Gertie Schneider passed – just a short while after my bar mitzvah.

The saddest feelings I have are their deaths, as those two were the parents to honor and the great grandparents our children should have known. It is through them that I learned the value of life, giving and honor, and it is through them that I felt security and comfort in what was a hard childhood for me and my siblings. While my rabbi was talking about honoring ones parents and the life of our Centenarian friend, I began to fathom notions I never truly focused on. You cannot make sense, or pretend to anyway, of divinely made decisions. If you believe and have faith, you just take it on faith; yet all that came to my mind was that neither of my grandparents may have honored their parents too well, for their lives were not extended. My grandfather would have turned 100 last year and my grandmother was to be 89. That would have been nice.

As the thoughts of them being less than perfect with their own parents ran through my head, I had to fast dispel those. It just isn’t what I want to believe. I then thought that if there is indeed a master plan for us all, reward and punishment, both here and in an afterlife, then perhaps their fate was such to be spared seeing the fruits of their life’s toils turn out as they had; yet I think their untimely deaths contributed to the chaos that beleaguered their own four children. Not to get too far into it, but of the four, one since passed on, they share very strained relationships with one another and arguably no relationship at all.

I then think that they do have five grandchildren and would have had ten great grandchildren with whom they could take pride.

So the sermon made me think and tear up, and still wonder why. As I wish Mr. Rosner a happy 100th birthday, I ask him if he remembers my grandparents. He always smiles and tells me that they were some of the best people he had known.

Me too.

Juda Engelmayer is President and Partner with the NY PR agency, HeraldPR

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