Emma Sass
Grateful to be Grateful
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In celebration of Yom Haatzmaut: 70 women who have done nothing

The first annual list to defy all lists by honoring the slackers among us
Illustrative. A woman avoiding the housework. (iStock)
Illustrative. A woman avoiding the housework. (iStock)

I Am Woman….Try to Hear My Whimper…

Every year — coinciding with Israel’s birthday and marking yet another year of incredible independence — people compile lists. Lots of lists.  Many different lists. All with the number of the birthday year. For example, in the year 2000, there was a list of 62 women in Israel who were totally wonderful that year; or in 2002, 64 individuals who made a ton of money in Israel (G-d knows how!), or in 2004, 66 people who have made such an incredible contribution to the country that it has even been transported internationally.

There are lists of people who have contributed to the peace process; lists of those who have advanced the safety of the citizens in our country and still more lists of people who have created new coins for the country like the infamous shnekel. Or was it the shmekel. Who knows? It’s not even on Wiki. But still. That was important…at the time. Very important.

This year, I’m adding to the list. Being that it’s 70 years and that’s a nice round number and it was only when someone mentioned the idea as a joke last year that I thought of it, this year I bit the proverbial bullet. So herewith my list of 70 Women Who Have Done Nothing. 70 Women Who Couldn’t Care Less. 70 Women Who’d Rather Binge on Netflix Than Make a Difference. 70 Women Whose Goal is To Be in PJs by 2 p.m. 70 Women Who Don’t Get Their Upper Lip Hair Done as Often as They Should. 70 Women Who Can Find 3 Top Nutritional Items in Corn Flakes for Dinner Every.Single.Night. You get the picture; you know the ones I mean.

Except it’s not quite 70. Not even close actually, but still that’s just how we roll. One can hope. And just coz one can’t count doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be allowed to make a list. Coz we all know there are three types of people in this world:  those who can count and those who can’t count. And let’s face it, in these politically-over-correct times, excluding anyone is not accepted today. Not even those who are mathematically-challenged. So while unlucky for some, this list of 13 fab women who don’t roar is a great start.

So why else am I doing this? Getting a little more serious now for a minute, because I honestly believe that one of Israel’s greatest problems (and yeah I know, we have a lot of these…oooh, next year, 71 problems of Israel, anyone?), is that we’re actually working too hard, doing too much, sleeping too little, not laughing at ourselves enough and getting too stressed…invariably about our debt. And that can’t be good for anything, or anyone.

So it is my hope that this piece — which will become annual, G-d willing — will encourage us to laugh a little at ourselves and say, “Hey, I’m proud of myself for being the only one at aerobics thinking achora is forward and kadima is backwards and exercising like that,” not ashamed or trying to hide it.

Let’s embrace ourselves. Women, we have such a great message wherever we are and we can teach others so so so much…if only they would pause a few minutes to try to hear it.

Name: Chloe Kleinburd
Age: 31
Made aliyah in: September 2005
Blurb

I have a BA in English Lit, but because I had 3 kids during this time and a life outside of school, I still haven’t applied for the actual degree and so a 3-year degree has taken me 12, so far.

I like working but I also love staying home with my kids.

While I have many aspirations and I am by no means lazy, I will simply never be motivated enough to be as high-powered and world-changing as many women here. I’m OK with that.

Name:  Kalanit Taub
Age/Status: 31/Married with 3 kids
Made aliyah in: 2005 (I think)
Blurb

Yesterday, located a missing 5-year old, stemmed the bleeding in a cut lip on a 2-year old and took my 7-year old to the cousin’s bar mitzvah. Successful parenting all three kids in one day.

My normal days include surviving each day, followed by surviving the night with 3 kids who repeatedly love being escorted back to their own bed.

And despite all that I still manage to feed them and clothe them DAILY (with the help of my husband).

Name: Linda Gayan
Age/Status: 38; Married with 2 boys and a girl
Made aliyah in: 2009
Blurb

Last year, I did a birthday party for all 3 of my kids in the park in August even though they had birthdays in February, April and July

I’ve gone to the doctor three times with the same problem gotten the same referrals every time and still haven’t gone to any of it.

I watch Kardashians and fashion police at night to clear my head.


Name: Chani Ugowitz
Age/Status: 43; married with 4 boys
Made aliyah in: August 4, 2010
Blurb

I allow my boys to play ball in the house until something breaks.

I shop locally even though it’s more expensive since I like the familiar shopping experience.

I sometimes bake brownies “for my kids” because I want some.

Name: Idit Codish
Age/Status: 34 (2nd marriage; 1 kid from each marriage + 5 bonus kids + a dog named Sumsum and a Siamese cat named Katrina Princess Fluffyface)
Made aliyah in: 2006 I think

Blurb

I have a pile on my bed I like to call “Mt. Laundry.” At least once a day I like to give myself a mental gold star for still being a functional human being.

I watch a truly ridiculous amount of TV which often results in my going to bed at midnight.

About once every other week I pour myself a glass of wine specifically for the purpose of steeling myself against my bi-weekly bank account balance; it helps ease the anxiety of anticipation.

Name: Naomi Weiser
Age/Status: 42
Made aliyah in:
Blurb

I work full time and way more; When I’m not working I watch too much TV and ignore my kids.

I hate housework. I hate cooking. Frozen shnitzel is our go-to dinner. We never wash our floors or do the dishes more than once a week. And when I say we, I mean the cleaner.

My kids seems to be doing great despite all this! One got awarded for her volunteer services and the other is a volunteer fire fighter. The third is a great kid, if we ignore the fact that he’s probably failing 5th grade.

Name: Tamary Sladowsky
Age/Status: 33 (2 amazing girls and 4 fantastic boys from 7 months to 10 years)
Made aliyah in: 2006
Blurb

Every day, I add a load or two of clean laundry to the ever-growing mountain on my bedroom floor (at least it’s clean).

I have a masters degree and actually used to know stuff. I do data entry like work, from my house, these days.

I hate cooking. Hate is an understatement.

Name:  Joan Weiner Levin
Age/Status: State secret; married with two kids
Made aliyah in: 2014

Blurb

I promised to make a meal for a new mom, and brought her a take-out pizza instead. I’m pretty sure it was cold by the time I delivered it.

If I’m on the light rail, and I see an expectant mom standing, I tell myself she must be smuggling basketballs so I don’t feel guilty for not giving them my seat.

I have a pile of laundry that theSstate of Israel has declared the country’s third tallest mountain, The Israel Parks Authority will be listing it on their website so tourists can hike through my living room and camp out at the base of Mt. Laundry.

Name:  Sophie Kaye
Age/Status: 41/Divorced with 2 kids
Israel Stats: 2002

Blurb

I’m not particularly ambitious, although I have some nice daydreams about what I could be doing with my life (fermented-things cafe!). In terms of professional achievements, one example I can share is that recently, while having my morning tea at work with a colleague, I discovered that my bunched-up underwear was situated somewhere in the knee area of my (tightish) trousers. I extracted them right there, in the middle of the kitchenette and nobody even noticed. However, I do sometimes prepare company-relevant PowerPoint presentations that have all of my colleagues in stitches (I think they only keep me employed here because I’m good for laughs).

I have a piano that I almost never play, lovely kids whom I don’t take on trips, and laundry that doesn’t stress me out because I make sure only to actually do laundry once or twice a week.

I only just get by financially, and I love and am proud of the fact that I am managing to do even that.

Name:  Tammy Paul
Age/Status: 33/married with 2 kids
Made aliyah in: 1996
Blurb

I should be included in the list because managing to get out of bed in the morning after being up multiple times every night feeding my almost 8-month-old, and taking my 4.5-year-old back to bed is an accomplishment in and of itself.

I manage to juggle work with my kids and still have my sanity is a miracle.

I am a strong woman and I put my heart and soul into being a mother and a wife and an employee and still try to make the time to be me, as well.

Name:  Hannah Fieldfox
Age/Status: 24; married/expecting first
Made aliyah in: 2002

Blurb

I work from home at a job where my boss doesn’t seem to realize how crucial I am to the team.

I also battle pregnancy nausea day in day out, so any trip outside is a win (post office, makolet, bank), including walking our two dogs. In fact, currently, making it through dinner without vomiting is a good day. Add to that the fact that my regular clothes no longer fit properly, and getting out is a true expedition

I’m in college, studying remotely (thank God) so I can’t change jobs at the moment. Trying to keep positive, but many days are spent in pajamas. 🙂

Name: Emma Sass
Age/Status: 47; married with 2 kids, 1 dog and 14 turtles.
Made aliyah in: 1995

Blurb

I spend 85% of my free time playing mindless bubble games on the computer, watching Netflix and window shopping for clothes I can’t afford while in my pajamas.

No matter how many beets and zucchinis I eat I am — always have been and always will be — an out of control chocoholic.

I find picking my split ends one of the most relaxing past-times ever and can probably spend around three uninterrupted hours doing it.

* * *

Thank you folks for reading; you’ve been a fab audience.

About the Author
At 48 years old, Emma Sass is blessed to be the most content she has ever been.
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