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I heard somebody say, 'It's such a Rachmanis.' I wanted to smack them.
I hate Rachmanis. That pity thing that people do, where they say 'it's such a pity.' I hate the unconcerned emotion of pity, where they help you by telling you that your life is over and you have no hope. For some reason, that doesn't inspire me.
Hate is a strong word. So is Rachmanis. So, I hate Rachmanis. And here goes the Rachmanis manifesto.
Nobody Wants To Hear They're A Rachmanis
Might as well say, 'You're so pathetic.' And then give the Rachmanis look, and head out to run your errands, and enjoy whatever your glorious day holds, without the loser.
Has anybody ever gotten a job and heard, 'Such a Rachmanis, they got the job'? No. You hear, 'Such a Rachmanis. I hope they find a decent job working the fields in Iowa.'
Has anybody ever got a good Shidduch and heard, 'Such a Rachmanis, I'm setting her up with a really well put together guy'? No. You hear 'Such a Rachmanis, I'll set her up with the unstable guy working as a comic. The one who's out of shape.'
'Such a Rachmanis. They look really good.' No. You hear, 'They look off. No hope.'
What You Want to Hear
You want to hear, 'Your arm got shot off. Way to go. Way to make it happen. You're the man. Thank you for your service.' It makes no difference how it happened. No arm, and you get respect for being a soldier. You want to hear, 'That broken nose. You're the only one that can make it look good. You've got all those hats. Those British royal style hats. You've got it.' You fall in the supermarket, you don't want people passing by and saying it's such a Rachmanis. You want people saying, 'Nice tumble. You've got it.' You may not. You might have broken a limb. You might need help. But it's empowering. Being helped up is always nice too. If it's a man trying to help you up, watch out. A lot of creepy men are out there. Most of the time he's not helping. That's a man hitting on you in a very vulnerable state.
You want to hear 'Be strong' 'You got it hard. Pull through. I'm here with you to help, if you need it.' The Rachmanis person doesn't even offer to help. Let alone, the respectful, 'I'm here if you need any help.' Rachmanis comes along with a, 'You need help. I hope somebody cares enough to help you. I'm out of here.' Rachmanis comes with an 'I got my stuff to do. I've got to be good to me... And my kids hate me.'
Respect. Power. Fight the power. You want to hear 1970s activist slogans. You want somebody to let you know that their on your side, against the tyranny.
Such a Rachmanis
It's always, 'Such a Rachmanis.' That's how you say it. 'Such a Rachmanis.' It's not 'much Rachmanis.' It's not a blessing, 'And much Rachmanis to you.' Well thank you for blessing me with pity. It's not, 'It should be a Rachmanis.' It's not a curse: though, it would make you feel better to be able to look at them and tell them 'It's such a Rachmanis.'
Now that I think about it. It feels so good to say it. I want to look at somebody right now and tell them they're a Rachmanis. It would feel great to tell somebody they have no hope. I can really use a pickmeup.
Add in 'It's Such a Rachmanis' and You're a Tzadik
Just here to help. You want to look like a good Jew. Look at somebody and say 'It's a Rachmanis' and you're in. Don't help. Just say it's a Rachmanis. Say it's a Rachmanis and enjoy the rest of your Shabbis. Just look at them in their poor pathetic clothes, note that it's a Rachmanis, and you never want to look like that, and don't invite them for dinner. Don't bring yourself down to their pathetic level to eat with them. Be the Tzadik, the community's righteous person, and note their patheticness. The shul might even honor you for your ability to note the poor members of the congregation, in your righteousness.
War in Ukraine. 'It's so hard on the Jews. Such a Rachmanis.' Note it. Share your opinion of Rachmanis. Watch a decent movie about some guy in Hollywood having a really hard time with a kid who has to overcome being the second best athlete at the school, say Ukraine is a Rachmanis, and you're a Tzadik.
Rachmanis Means You're Not a Person Anymore
You're not a person. You're a Rachmanis. An object. You're a charity with nothing to offer. You're not valuable, because they can't get anything from you anymore. Hence, you're just a Rachmanis. A Rachmanis object they can make money off of.
How it Makes Me Feel
Hearing 'a Rachmanis' just makes the Rachmanis feel real bad. I am baffled. I ask, 'What's the Rachmanis?' Am I supposed to feel bad? Should I feel worse? Is there something wrong with me for not being depressed?
'What a Rachmanis. It used to be a person. You see it? Right there. Look. Right in front of you... Yes. Them. That Rachmanis.' They're like doctors talking in front of you, about you. It really does bring a sense of power to be able to talk about somebody and how unimportant they are, how physically deficient they are next to your all powerful prowess.
Keep your Rachmanis to yourself and let me enjoy my life. My life fool of Rachmanis and enjoyment. and thanks to God.
I Like Care
I like when people feel something and respond to it with an action. I take that back. At least a little back. I like care with privacy. I don't need to wake up with them in my home, breaking in so that they can make me a decent hot breakfast. 'He needs more wholesome food, and I will do it for him.' I understand you care and hot breakfasts are nice. But calm down a bit with your care. First introduce yourself.
I like the kind of care that lets me know they're on my side, rooting for me. I like fans. It would be nice if people were at my job, cheering me on. That would inspire me. If they had people in the stands chanting 'you've got it Dave,' I think that would help me as a Mashgiach. I would feel much more valued as a Kosher supervisor, if spectators were watching me spectate.
I like somebody who's there letting me know that they believe I can cook. I don't get that very often. I understand that my cooking abilities are limited to a crockpot. But I've made scrambled eggs in a microwave too. It just takes a little care.
I like care and support. Rachmanis is people standing there saying, 'I don't believe in you. I'm here to let you know you have no chance.' I don't need that. I have enough family and friends for that.
The Rachmanis Look
They give this look like there's something very wrong with you that you should know about. That look that tells you that you should feel worse about your life. That look that says you're wearing a Tshirt in the afternoon and you're an adult.
They don't do anything. They don't show up. They drop off nice fitting button downs. They just give the look, and sad sound. They stare at you, bring their lips in, clench the mouth and give a 'tzi.' They add in that little blank stare with a headnod. Then they shake their head and close their eyes real quick. They might throw in a 'such a shame.' And then they say, 'Such a Rachmanis.'
Even the stare puts them above you, the pathetic one. It gives them that power of belittlement. You might as well say I'm pathetic. They've really mastered the look of being above you. They must have experience as a boss.
The Cry Staredown
The cry stare is just awkward. If you don't cry right away, it can be a very long cry staredown. I've witnessed a twelve minute cry stare. Cry starers don't stop until they get you. Sometimes it leads to a laugh, but that is also awkward. It's awkward to see somebody laugh who just lost a loved one. Yet, it can help if somebody needs to get out good cry.
The cry stare can help. Even so, they're showing they are all powerful by making you cry. The power to make you cry. 'Just lost my job, my house, a loved one, and now you're exercising your power over me?! It's appreciated.'
Got some of those at Shiva too. For some reason, by Shiva, even the looking at me, as a study, and talking about me right there, was fine. The cry staredown was appreciated. I needed to get it out. They gave me that cry stare, I cried and they walked out. They did what they came to do. When they were walking out, I heard them say, 'I got him to cry. Such a Rachmanis.'
A hug is OK. Instead of the Rachmanis look and cry staredown (not everybody has the ability to cry stare), give a hug. Let them know you're pathetic together. Hugs are a joint effort. You're not expressing power on a hug, unless if you come from the top and squeeze real hard. Truth: I've had some people squeeze my hand real hard, when I thought it was supposed to be a welcoming handshake.
Times I've Gotten It
When I moved to Israel. 'Such a Rachmanis. He couldn't make it in America.'
When I had back surgery. 'Such a Rachmanis. He had surgery.' I needed some Nintendo cartridges. You could've bought me some of those. I wouldn't have been a Rachmanis if I had games to play.
My parents got 'such a Rachmanis' a lot, for having to raise me. 'That one. The one that cheated on the March of Dimes fundraiser. Just read the last page and said he read the book. Such a Rachmanis.' I cheated for charity, and that is fine.
Being single. They look at me and they're thinking, 'How can he enjoy life? There is no way he feels accomplished. He's all alone. Such a Rachmanis... Let's go honey. We've got to go visit the kids. Thank God our children are not this pathetic. Let me look back at him and shake my head... Oh. What has become of our people. Such a Rachmanis. I'm about to tear... I got out one. I looked at him. That's enough. He knows he's pathetic. Oh. What has become of our people... A Shidduch? We don't have time for that. Let's focus on the vacation.' I turned into a lamentation. I even received an 'it will happen,' right before a Rachmanis. The 'it will happen,' with a Rachmanis look, had an even greater Rachmanis effect.
Hard times in hospital. 'Such a Rachmanis. They're in the hospital again... No. We shouldn't visit. I don't have the energy to write a card. It's a Rachmanis. I think we said it all... Food for them? They can purchase that. They have money. We'll just tell them they're a Rachmanis... Oh. That feels good. Such a Rachmanis. For some reason, it feels so good to say that.'
Just being back in Rochester, I get it. 'He's back in Rochester. Such a Rachmanis.' I don't get it. Is Rochester that bad? Why are they living here? I don't understand. You're happy, and then they give you that look and you start to think, 'My life is really bad. It must be. I just got the Rachmanis look.'
Call Me Evil - I Don't Have Rachmanis
I've worked with many people with disabilities and I respected them all. I guess that's why I don't have Rachmanis. I see strength and courage and fight in people.
I saw that inspirational speech with that guy with no legs and no arms. He was making phone calls with his nose. He was juggling. He had no arms and no legs and accomplished more than me. He was a writer. He had no Rachmanis for himself. He was a champ. After seeing him, I had Rachmanis for me. My parents paid for all that education, sent me to sports leagues, and this guy has done ten times more than me. He's up there playing soccer with no legs.
Next time you want to show Rachmanis, go over to the pathetic person and say 'Wah Wah Wah' and then walk away. Maybe go for the double fisted pointer fingers on the eyes rub, before leaving. Then walk away. That will relay the message you want give to the guy who's been working really hard, and feels accomplished.
You can also say 'you're a loser' 'you have no hope' 'you'll never make it.'
Nobody needs Rachmanis. They need respect. They need belief in them. Yes. Even if they're the loser of the community, who's still pulling in five figures. Yes. It's a Rachmanis, and they're a loser who can't afford Brooks Brothers. Yes. It's a Rachmanis that they still have to iron their shirts. But give them the respect for trying.
Want to Do Something Helpful? Do a Chesed. Don't voice a Rachmanis. Bring food to the family. Give them a gift card. Pay for a two week vacation for them to head down to Disney World. Nobody will complain about that, until they owe you for it, and you give them the 'you owe me' look.
When you visit somebody, treat them normal. That's what people want in nursing homes. They want to be normal. They want a sense of life. They want to be people who are valuable to your lives. They want respect. They want belief. They don't want to be a Rachmanis, just because you abandoned them and cast them into quarantine.
They want to hear they're valuable. They're important to the world. If you can't see that your family member is important to you. If you can't see that your elders in the nursing facilities have something to teach you, you don't understand Rachamim.
I'm happy I got that off my chest. Next time I see somebody showing pity for somebody who is trying to type with no hands, I'm going to smack them. I'll know, because I'm going to be in the stands, looking at the pathetic loser, cheering them on.
***For a Refuah Sheleyma for חיה נחה בת ריבה לאה and all who need a speedy recovery, and shared laughter with their family and friends.
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Health and Healing
Humor, laughter and a positive outlook in the hard times. This includes Torah thoughts by Rabbi Kilimnick and humor from within.
With nursing facilities closed, this guy is trying to figure out why his kids are trying to break into the room, scoping it out. He's asking when his kids turned into a bunch of stalkers.
(Photo: The Guardian)