KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!
The Brutal Truth
By Rabbi Shea Hecht
We all put great value on the truth and demand honesty from
others. Many times our biggest criticism to others - especially
people in the political arena - is that people are not being
In our relationships - marriage, work, children - we always say
we want openness, honesty and truth. What is it about truth
though, that often as soon as we hear it we get offended? Many
times we'll "excuse the truth" by saying it was said because of
a bias, hatred or jealousy.
The Talmud tells us that one of the pillars that the world
exists on is truth - yet we so often fight it.
The other day I came across a fascinating ad that was a parody
of our dishonest quest for honesty.
The Craig's List nanny ad was called brutally honest or
unusually honest by many.
My kids are a pain... Just in the past hour, i have had to
tell each one to do something more than once. oldest: can i have
soda? it's just a sprite? please? can i? no, no and no.
the next one...don't even get me started. seriously.
The ad describes everything the mother expected from a nanny -
in completely honest terms - everything the woman feels she can
give to a nanny and everything in between.
the twin six year olds: one wanted dessert before her dinner
was over, one kept wanting to know why I wouldn't let nine year
olds swing her around by her limbs. (the fear of a dislocated
shoulder did nothing.)
Please help me.
The "brutally honest" ad got lots of attention because of one
tiny little fact - it was honest.
I can be a tad difficult to work for. I'm loud, pushy and
while I used to think we paid well, i am no longer sure. i work
from home, so you get the pleasure of being hounded by me all
day long. and, you get to pretend to like me, because i am
deeply sensitive. (but well dressed and a know it all, a winning
combination I assure you.)
The prospective nannies who read the ad recognized the honesty
in it and other women looking for nannies saw the obvious too.
If you cannot multi task, or communicate without being
passive aggressive, don't even bother replying.
If you are the type who doesn't notice crumbs on the table, skip
to the next post, because crumbs are a deal breaker. they put me
over the edge.
What's most amazing about the honesty of this 1,000 word ad is
that people were amazed by the honesty! They were refreshed by
the truthfulness of ad.
am not looking for Super nanny, or anyone who wants this job
because they will love my kids as if they are their own. you
won't. really. they are infinitely lovable, but trust me,
they're mine and you will move on when your journey with us is
over, and save for some funny stories and a delightful email
every now and again, you won't grieve. Nor will we. (okay, we
did all grieve a few of our past sitters, oddly they were all
named Sarah or Kate, or Nikki. And Leah. Leah was delightful,
even if she did drop my twin babies off our couch during a
family gathering. Good times.
Have we become a nation of liars? Are we so jaded by the lies
that people tell and write that honesty has become brutal?
I need a team player. I need someone to back me up when it
comes to remembering when the library books are due, and whether
i have rsvped to that birthday party yet.
RebeccaSoodak, the 40-year-old Mother whose husband owns a wine
store, eventually hired a 25-year-old University of Virginia
graduate, to take care of her children. I guess the honesty drew
her to the job.
Help me dear G-d keep track of our skim milk supply and
also, also, also, what should I make for dinner tomorrow night?
In the end, Soodak's honesty was almost a joke - on her! As
Soodak told the Times: "I hope she likes it here. I sent the ad
to one of my old sitters and she said she felt it was pretty
accurate, which sort of stung a little bit."
|Rabbi Shea Hecht
Chairman of the
National Committee for
Furtherance of Jewish Education .
His web site is:
KOSHER DELIGHT MAGAZINE