As you may know by now, I am a religious Jew living in Brooklyn, New York. I was born and raised here, and yet I am still amazed at the plethora of kindness the Jewish community here exhibits. There seems to be an organization designed for any need a person may have.

Need chairs for an event? There’s an organization for that.

Need a dress for a loved one’s wedding? There’s an organization for that.

Need prayerbooks? Food? Advice? There are organizations for all these needs and more, too many to mention.

And of course there are several organizations to help those trying to conceive, be it financially or emotionally. These organizations do so much good, and I myself have benefited from their services.

However, with all due respect to these organizations, there’s a thought I would like to voice. At various fundraising events, I have heard Need a dress for a loved one’s wedding? There’s an organization for thatstatements such as these:

“Please come out tonight and show your support for those suffering through infertility.”

“Your donation may help one of those couples sitting at home in silence right now.”

“Please open your hearts to those less fortunate, to those who wish they could be up through the night with a little one.”

I just love feeling like a charity case, don’t you? It’s amazing how a few words can make people feel as though they were better off dead.

It’s funny, actually. At one of these parties, I turned to my mom and we just started laughing.

No, people, I don’t sit at home in silence with my husband. Though he often wishes that I would. And what’s with the “suffering from infertility”? Why “suffering”? My vivid imagination conjures an image of me chained to a steel table while hot water is poured over me—okay, you get the picture. Can we please, please, come up with another word? I usually use the term “going through infertility.” Suffering. Haha. How about . . . enduring? Fighting? Or . . . Courageously Enduring and Fighting Infertility? A.k.a. CEFI. Perfect. Sounds much better than suffering, doesn’t it? Using the first quote in this article, here’s how it would fit in:

“Please come out tonight and show your support for those CEFI.”

Amazing. I love it.

Why should it offend me so? Who cares what terms are used? I was recently browsing the Web and happened upon an article where the author Why should it offend me so? Who cares what terms are used?discussed labels, specifically the labels we attach to children. These days, everyone is labeled with something. If it’s not ADHD, it’s OCD, or ODD, or anxiety, or even restless leg syndrome. (And that’s a real thing, people. Promise.) I’m not attempting to belittle anyone’s issues. I understand they are very real. But, I don’t know why, it kills me every time I hear someone flippantly labeling someone. “Oh, him? He’s total ADD.”


Okay, so labeling is one of my pet peeves. Back to the other one.

I believe you are not a nebach, a.k.a. someone to be pitied, until you feel people pity you. My single friend always tells me, “I’m fine, as long as people know I’m fine. When people begin to pity me, I’m not fine anymore.” So true.

Same with me. I’m fine. More than fine. Until I hear that someone has asked about me, “Oh, how is Zehava doing?” Uh, excuse me? Why is there an emphasis on the “is” in that question?

I’m fine. Until I feel people don’t believe that I am. Then I begin to feel . . . uh, how can I put this delicately . . . a mixture of yucky and embarrassed. So I guess you would call it “embucky.” Just kidding—don’t call it anything. Just don’t do it.

We all have issues. You can pretend you don’t. But you do. They may not be apparent to others; they may not be major. But they exist, and they are personal. To discuss your problems with others is your choice, but to discuss others’ problems without them is not.

Let’s not label people. Let’s not pity people. Actually, you can pity people. But in your head. Not in public.