Articles by Eve Poupko

The Punishment Fits the Crime


lego

So, I have this friend who holds a position as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. It came as no surprise to any of her friends or family that she rose to the level of Chief Prosecutor in the Narcotics division. After all, she graduated from Harvard Law with the intention of making the world a safer place. So far she has not disappointed. As her life continued along, she met her husband, and they started a lovely family. After a few years she hit a bump in the road (I suspect there were a few before that), and whom did she call for advice? Me.

Imagine my surprise when, one afternoon, I got a call from her while she was at work. She was calling to ask me for help. I couldn’t imagine what a person in her position would need from me. After all, she spends her mornings supervising a staff of 20 other lawyers and then dedicates her afternoons to putting criminals behind bars. I soon found out. After a few minutes of uncharacteristic hemming and hawing, she finally blurted out, “Okay, how do I get my three-year-old to pick up her toys?” Before I could recover, she proceeded to tell me that she had tried almost every tactic, including charging her daughter with destruction of property (her husband made her to drop the charges), but so far nothing had worked.


Read More:The Punishment Fits the Crime

When Life Gives You Lemonade…


lemonade stand

As an American citizen, I have to say I am grateful to the Food and Drug Administration for the efforts they make to ensure that the food we eat adheres to the highest level of safety. Although they exercise their authority in food venues and factories across the continental United States, they have not yet established their presence and authority over the local lemonade stands that one sees when driving around in the summer time. Let me just say, “Woe to the ignorant.”

You see, there are two kinds of people who buy lemonade: those who drink it and those who don’t. The people who actually drink it are either too young to understand the concept of hygiene, or simply have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. Let me tell you, as an experienced parent of lemonade sellers, you don’t really want to know. That’s why I’m going to tell you.


Read More:When Life Gives You Lemonade…

Lost and Found


candy

As we know, in contrast to the old adage, “Finders, keepers, losers, weepers,” Jewish law places a premium on returning lost items – the underlying implication being that “lost” means it doesn’t belong to you. However, as human nature enters into the picture, we come to realize that there is a category of lost items that actually do belong to you. These are the ones, that you, yourself have “misplaced or lost,” whether purposefully or because you lack the wherewithal to remember where you put things, like your glasses. (I once found mine perched on the top of my head.)


Read More:Lost and Found

Touchdown!


touchdown

I’m thinking of opening up a hotdog stand in the parking lot during carpool pickup. This is not for the benefit of the students but, rather, for the parents. You see, I’m not quite sure when this happened, but as the year progressed, carpool became a contact sport, for which I have season tickets. Two or three times a week, depending on how lucky I am, I get to drive carpool. (Believe it or not, there’s no sarcasm intended in that statement.) During this time, my van essentially turns into an end zone. The ringing of the school bell, which signals the culmination of another wonderful day of learning, has now become synonymous with the quarterback’s cry of “hut” as he snaps the ball. As each “team” comes racing across the field, carpool drivers brace themselves. Luckily, most afternoons the classes are dismissed at different times. However, on that rare occasion when they are not, all of the boys are trying to score at the same time. What is the goal? It is a seat. Which seat? A front row seat. How important is this? Very.
 


Read More:Touchdown!

Simply Anne


homeless

When people set a goal which they fail to achieve, they sometimes experience a sense of failure – unless, of course, they can see the silver lining. Perhaps it is the silver lining that was supposed to be the goal in the first place, but due to our limited understanding, we don’t realize it. About seven years ago, my husband and I put tremendous effort, energy, and resources into a community project that didn’t turn out the way we had envisioned. However, we realized there was a silver lining. Her name was Anne.

Some of you might recall Anne. She was an older woman with shockingly white, shoulder-length hair. As she carried her belongings with her, she could be found waiting at bus stops, walking on Park Heights, or in the shuls. Anne generally kept to herself, rarely speaking to others unless they spoke to her first.


Read More:Simply Anne

To Clean or Not to Clean… Not a Pesach Tale


cleaning supplies

Living in a clean and orderly environment is generally touted as a good thing. (And in the weeks before Pesach, it equates to the highest levels of tzidkus, literally.) That is why mothers from time immemorial have made futile attempts at achieving this goal. Many of us do not shoulder the entire burden alone. Credit must be given where credit is due: to our husbands, who often take on a fair share of the responsibilities, and to our children, who also help out a lot. However, no matter how much man, woman, or child power we dedicate to keeping our homes clean, the mess and clutter always seem to accumulate faster than our little brooms can sweep – hence, the brilliant idea of “the cleaning lady.”


Read More:To Clean or Not to Clean… Not a Pesach Tale