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The media know that sensational revelations "sell". The expose of the famous personality's less-than-sterling behavior whets the appetites of a curious public. The electronic and print media rush to bring the latest revelations to the anxious masses. Curiosity does not wane until a bigger story breaks and takes over the headlines. The people seek "reality" -- they want to know how the successful, rich or famous personality really ticks.

The age of technology combined with a free press mentality has removed the romantic gloss from many a public figure. The person presented to the public rarely represents the person who lives behind closed doors. But this dual personality syndrome is not exclusive to the rich and famous. Most people behave quite differently in the privacy of their own homes than they do in public. The gentle administrator in the office may be the aggressive monster at home. The soft words used to convince and cajole an employee or co-worker may be replaced by angry, cruel shouts at a child or spouse. The polite well mannered synagogue member may be the sloppy, rude family member.

Why is it that we can be so nice to others - even strangers - and so cruel to those who we should love the most? It is probably the fantasy that when we are at home we imagine that we are invisible to the critical stares of a judgmental public. "When no one is watching I can be myself" may be o.k. when translated into more casual attire or a sloppy coif but it is not a license to transform from Dr. Jeckyll into Mr. Hyde.

A good yardstick to measure your performance at home is to think of the way you behave when away from home. Matching up the two people that make up the one "you" will refine and perfect the beast within each of us to the beauty we all can become. Compare and improve your "home and away".


One must be careful not to speak after reciting Barukh She-amar until one completes the Shemoneh Esreh (Amidah) - not even words that involve a misvah.

If one completes the blessing of "Barukh She-amar"" before the hazan - Sheliah Seeboor -- one should answer amen to the hazan's blessing blessing. [Source: Shulhan Arukh, O'h, Siman 51:2,4]


Life has not taken hold of you until you begin doing things that the average person considers impossible.

Avi Shulman

Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Project Genesis, Inc.



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