March 2021
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Phone: 508-994-4972
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editing and Proofreading: David and Leonore Dvorkin
Formatting: David Dvorkin
In this Table of Contents, three asterisks *** are used to separate the title of each article from its author. In the same way, three asterisks *** will be used to separate articles to make using your browser’s search feature easier. If any of you have screen readers that make searching difficult or undoable with asterisks, please let us know not only that, but also if three number signs ### would be easier. If you are a screen reader user for whom neither symbol works, please let us know what works best, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
In columns like Special Notices, Readers’ Forum, and Recipes from Karen Crowder, letters of the alphabet—A, B, C., etc.—are used to separate items.
1. HEALTH MATTERS: Mask Benefits, the COVID Vaccine and Lymph Nodes, and Healthier Ways to Eat Cheese *** by Leonore Dvorkin
2. TECH CORNER: Button, Button, Who Has the Button? *** by Stephen Théberge
3. WEATHER OR NOT: Was the Deep Freeze in the Deep South a Result of Climate Change? *** by Steve Roberts
5. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs *** by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
7. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
8. MARCY’S SCHMOOZE TINNIH *** by Marcy J. Segelman
1. HEALTH MATTERS: Mask Benefits, the COVID Vaccine and Lymph Nodes, and Healthier Ways to Eat Cheese
by Leonore H. Dvorkin / Submitted February 22, 2021
I welcome comments on any of my articles.
1. Researchers propose that humidity from masks may lessen severity of COVID-19
Source: EurekAlert and the NIH / February 12, 2021
Masks help protect us from contracting or spreading COVID-19, and NIH researchers have added another potential benefit for wearers: The humidity created inside the mask may help combat respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. The higher level of humidity in the inhaled air when a person is wearing a mask has been linked to lower disease severity in people with COVID-19, because hydration of the respiratory tract is known to benefit the immune system.
High levels of humidity have been shown to mitigate severity of the flu, and it may be applicable to severity of COVID-19 through a similar mechanism. High levels of humidity can also bolster the immune system by producing special proteins, called interferons, that fight against viruses.
Four types of masks were tested: an N95 mask, a three-ply disposable surgical mask, a two-ply cotton/polyester mask, and a heavy cotton mask. The results for all four masks showed increased humidity in the inhaled air. At both lower and higher temperatures, the thick cotton mask led to the most increased level of humidity.
Note: A short article in the January 2021 issue of Consumer Reports “On Health” magazine offers further reassurance. It reports on a walking test given to 15 older adults with COPD while they were wearing surgical masks. The test revealed no problems with lung function or blood oxygen levels afterwards. Their conclusion: “It is important to inform the public that the discomfort associated with mask use should not lead to unsubstantiated safety concerns.”
My comments:
Early in the pandemic, there were absurd claims from some anti-maskers that the masks were “killing us,” as they keep us from breathing more freely. These articles help combat that fear, and the longer one even points out an unexpected benefit of the masks. No matter what type of mask you choose, make sure it covers your nose and mouth and that it fits as closely as possible to the sides of your face.
My husband and I have begun double-masking when we’re out in public, for example for shopping: wearing a disposable surgical mask covered by a close-fitting polyester mask. The thick cotton masks that we bought early in the pandemic are comfortable and warm in this colder weather, and I like to wear just one of those when I go out for a walk, versus to an enclosed space like a store.
It’s comforting to know that the moister air we’re breathing in when masked is good for us. In this very dry climate (we’re in Denver, Colorado), the humidity is often well below 30 percent. Whenever it’s cold enough to have the heat on, we use a cool-mist humidifier in our bedroom at night. The one we got from Costco is almost completely silent. It’s the Homedics Total Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier.
2. COVID Vaccine Reaction Can Mimic Breast Cancer Symptoms, But Doctors Say “Don’t Panic”
Source: HealthDay News / February 11, 2021 / Reporter: Dennis Thompson
(The following paragraphs are excerpts from the article.)
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can cause lymph nodes to swell, particularly those in the armpit on the side where the shot was received, experts say. Some women are feeling these swollen armpit lymph nodes and mistaking them for breast lumps.
Further, these swollen lymph nodes can show up in a mammogram even if women can’t feel them. That prompted the Society of Breast Imaging to recommend that women postpone any mammography scheduled within four weeks after their final COVID-19 shot.
About 16 percent of clinical trial patients had enlarged lymph nodes after their second shot of the Moderna vaccine, and there have been similar results with the Pfizer vaccine.
Based on these cases and the Society of Breast Imaging recommendation, a number of health systems nationwide are asking women to delay their mammogram for at least a month after vaccination, Parkinson said.
Women who find a swollen lymph node in the armpit of the arm where they got their COVID-19 shot should not automatically suspect breast cancer, Parkinson added.
“We want to tell those patients to take a deep breath, and if it goes away within three to four weeks, just come in for your regular screening,” he advised.
However, doctors DO want to see women if they have any of the other signs and symptoms of breast cancer, vaccination or not, Parkinson said.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these include:
Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
Any change in size or shape of the breast.
Pain in any area of the breast.
3. Healthy Ways to Eat Cheese
Source: Consumer Reports “On Health” magazine, January 2021
Cheese is a nutritious food, given that it’s a concentrated source of protein and calcium. While many of us take in too many calories by eating it on pizza, in deli sandwiches, and with crackers, here are some healthier ways to consume it.
1. Pair cheese with fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. If you like crackers, look for those that are 100 percent whole grain.
3. Have cheese in place of meat. Try it in an omelet, salad, or grain bowl.
4. Have it for dessert. Make a small cheese plate of Brie or another favorite cheese, plus a few nuts and fresh or dried fruit.
Cheeses that are lower in saturated fat include fresh mozzarella, soft goat cheese, feta, and ricotta.
Note: We’re also cutting down on saturated fat by drinking low-fat organic milk, with just 1.5 grams of saturated fat per cup. The Silk brand oat milk I’ve been drinking is even lower in saturated fat, with just 0.5 grams per cup.
About the Author:
Leonore H. Dvorkin is a language tutor, writer, and editor. Until the pandemic, she also taught exercise classes, mainly weight training, starting those classes in 1976. Most of the many articles she has written for this and other publications have been on health, fitness, and nutrition.
Leonore and her husband, the author David Dvorkin, have been running DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services since 2009. Most of their many clients are blind or visually impaired. Their most basic aim is to provide excellent, comprehensive service at very reasonable rates.
David and Leonore are the authors of 34 published books of their own. Thirty of those books are by David. They both write fiction and nonfiction.
They invite you to visit any of their websites for more information about their work and their services.
David Dvorkin:
Leonore H. Dvorkin:
DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services:
2. TECH CORNER: Button, Button, Who Has the Button?
by Stephen Théberge
On February 19, Facebook made another upgrade to their iOS app. Many of the blindness-related groups on the platform were outraged. Voiceover users could no longer access the “Back” button. Sighted people could see it and use it, but for the voiceover user, the button, for all intents and purposes, was gone. To make this even more annoying, the February 27 Facebook update did not fix the issue. As of today, February 28, the button is still not there.
I won’t argue that this is an accessibility issue, and if you have no troubleshooting experience or basic knowledge, not having the button could be a problem. Most people in the online groups were eager to point out solutions. Basically, the “Back” button is an escape key, so you could live without it, assuming that you know that a two-fingered scrub accomplishes the same task. It takes a little finesse, but I mastered it quickly. This is the default action in iOS for escape. If you are in a post in your newsfeed, double-tapping the newsfeed tab will also accomplish this. Double-tap the notifications tab if you want to get out of a notification you’re reading.
Aside from the scrub feature, I found this gem on Facebook, about how to assign a gesture as a “Back” button. I now use a four-fingered swipe up. I also like this method of assigning what we want. It harkens back to my days of computer programming, and I found this solution “elegant,” as my professors used to say.
Note: This was written by Graham Rowan, Assistive Technology Community for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Facebook on iOS revisited. A solution for the back button.
Attention, voiceover and braille display users. I think I have a permanent solution to the back button on Facebook. In fact, this solution will work for every feature where you want to back out of something.
Assuming you’re running the latest iOS, grab your device, and let’s go. Here is the permanent solution.
Double-tap “Settings.” Double-tap “Accessibility.” Double-tap “Voiceover.” Double-tap “Commands.” Double-tap “Touch Gestures.”
Assuming you have done this correctly, what you’ll see next is a list of commands that are already being used. The good news for us is that there are a couple of commands, using touch gestures, that have not been used. We are going to assign one of these commands to the Back button or the Escape button. The first command you should see in this list that does not yet have a use is a two-finger quadruple tap. The second one is a four-finger single tap. This second command is probably going to be the easiest one for us to use. So, making sure your cursor is on this, double-tap to open this command.
Once you’ve opened this command, the very first thing you should see is the heading called Actions. The very first action of the list is Escape. That’s the one we want. Double-tap to select this action.
You’re done. You have just set up a new command for escaping or going back. The great news is that it doesn’t matter what Facebook does in the future. This command will stay assigned unless you reset your phone back to factory settings. And that’s the last thing you should do.
This reminds me of some recent conversations I’ve had. Someone asked if an external drive worked the same with files, and also, if deleting videos in a Zoom window was the same as other places. I think the sense of adventure we used to have with technology is gone. The answer to these questions is yes, they work the same as everywhere else. I say, kick the tires and experiment. You won’t break anything, usually. As long as you can keep track of your steps, have a little fun. You never know what you may discover by accident.
Back to the Back button. I understand that people were upset. People even went so far as to complain to Apple Accessibility, which is not the place to go, as Facebook is not an Apple application. Instead, I encourage you to complain to the Facebook accessibility team at
Have a safe rest of the winter. By next month, we’ll be in spring and the Red Sox will be playing.
Follow me on Twitter at @speechfb
Read and post on my writer’s blog:
Check out my coming of age science fiction novel The MetSche Message and its sequel The MetSche Maelstrom at
Watch my YouTube channel. Many blindness-related issues, and the latest Branco Broadcasts.
3. WEATHER OR NOT: Was the Deep Freeze in the Deep South a Result of Climate Change?
by Steve Roberts
In the week of Valentine’s Day, a deep freeze took the Deep South by surprise. This weather extreme raises the question: If the earth is heating up, how can we shiver in the Sun Belt? To understand the climate change connection, you must first know that there are two schools of thought about the impact of climate change on this extreme weather event.
There is one school of thought that says that this short-term setback in the temperature had nothing to do with climate change. This event was simply an outgrowth of day-to-day weather. It’s a variation that could happen next year or a decade from now. These variations occur in the context of our changing climate. That said, this does not mean that global warming has somehow stopped. Cold spells like this will still occur, even as the world heats up.
There is another school of thought that contends that as the earth heats up, the jet stream will slow down. A slower flowing jet stream will become increasingly wavy. A wavy jet stream, with its ridges and troughs, will bring warm air to higher latitudes and cold air to lower latitudes. The Dixie deep freeze is consistent with what scientists say we will see more of as the world heats up and the jet stream becomes wavier.
In all honesty, there may be something to both schools of thought. Over the next several decades, winters will become warmer and less snowy. The wavy jet stream will bring us some cold and snowy setbacks. Though the earth may be getting warmer, don’t throw away your parka and snow shovel just yet.
Steven P. Roberts is the author of the nonfiction book The Whys and Whats of Weather (2014), and a novel, The Great Winter Hurricane (2015). For full details of both books, see his website:
From Bob Branco, Publisher
Please join our podcast mailing list! Each week, Peter Altschul and I record a podcast called “In Perspective,” for which we invite special guests to talk about their projects, professions, and other issues that benefit our listeners. Sometimes, Peter and I discuss a topic by ourselves. You are welcome to appear on our show, and we would also like you to subscribe to our mailing list free of charge. If you would like to receive copies of our show each week, just send a test email to, and I’ll see that it’s done. If you want to participate on any episode of “In Perspective,” we can send you a Zoom invitation. Also, if you have a topic that you feel would be beneficial to our listeners, please indicate your interest in appearing on “In Perspective.” You can email or call 508-994-4972. To check out a previous episode of “In Perspective,” go to and click on “In Perspective Podcasts.” At that point, you will see a list of archived shows from latest to earliest.
Here is a list of upcoming guests on “In Perspective,” along with dates and times of the recordings. Please note that all times are Eastern Time.
Friday, March 5, Jonathan Gale, Disability Policy Specialist/Consultant, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, March 12, DeAnna Noriega, author of Fifty Years of Walking with Friends, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, March 19, Peggy Chong, the blind history lady, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, March 26, Alan Dicey, past president of the Blind Chess Association, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 2, Ray Irving, digital voting and music, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 9, Nelson Holmberg, Joe Machise, and Jalil Mortazavi, news and views, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 16, Donna Halper, Associate Professor of Communication & Media Studies, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 23, Deborah Kendrick, author of When Your Ears Can’t Help You See, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 30, Donna Jodhan, sight loss coach, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, May 7, Hoby Wedler, chemist and entrepreneur, 5:00 p.m.
5. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs
by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
Greetings all. It’s still winter in New York. Punxsutawney Phil twitched his little rodent nose and told us we would have six more weeks of it this year. Darn it, he’s correct. Unless it’s in the single digits and the wind is up, my dogs love it. They dig and romp in the snow or come in with a cold nose and ears. The best is when the towel comes out to dry them off. Bailey rubs on us like a cat and May gets all happy, pushing him out of the way to get her turn. Always gets me laughing and smiling.
Well, I wanted to share a milestone. Since 2018, I have written over 30 articles for this magazine. Below is the first article, written for the January 2018 issue and posted on my blog in December 2017.
THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs
by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
Hello, readers. This month I’d like to share a little bit more about the process of being matched with a guide dog. Anthropologists tell us that early man and dog met tens of thousands of years ago out of mutual need; since that time, the two have developed a bond unrivaled by any other animal and human partnership.
In fact, the matching process which occurs for guide dog teams is based on the science of both human and canine behaviors, but also has something else I like to refer to as magic. The professional instructors keep this close to the cuff, and I wouldn’t ask them to divulge any more of it than is necessary for the unindoctrinated to understand. I mean, who wants to give away a process that’s been working for close to 100 years and probably longer? Just imagine the sheep herders of the distant past and how their dogs worked with them and protected them from predators. This was a partnership formed of mutuality and need. The ultimate working relationship is, of course, the military handler and dog, where the team risks injury or worse each time they take point on patrol.
Getting back to less perilous situations, in guide and service dog terms, the magic of the match has been a mystery. I’ve heard instructors explain it many times, and yet there is a part of the process that defies explanation. The concrete side of the matching process has been explored and recorded in journals and scores of conversations during panel discussions. The subject is also popular when working a new dog or in the quieter, more convivial moments when getting to know a new dog. The ever elusive question is, Why did they match me with this dog? Being blind is part of it. The loss of vision makes the first step possible. Moving on, it’s not just about how fast one walks, the location and regular routes taken, and geographical challenges such as transit centers, street crossings, etc. It’s more than this. It’s a judgment call based on the information we provide to the instructors, both verbally and non-verbally. It’s developed during daily obedience practice, training walks, settling down for dinner, and play time. Each handler has many of the same requirements, but most likely an equal share of unique requirements as well. I’m not an instructor. Nor do I profess to know how to evaluate a person’s needs in terms of a guide dog. I do know, however, what I’ve observed from over 10 years of being among other handlers and instructors. I can only express how my needs were met and how my new dog has been a great match.
Moreover, instructors listen to our hopes and dreams, not just what we need at the time. They see our potential with each training walk. Instructors witness transformations, the rise of confidence, and when it is all completed, the beauty of a good match is the result. How can one explain it? Simply put, it’s magic.
Here’s to acknowledging the time and dedication of the individuals who help make the magic happen and letting them know I won’t give away the secret.
Check out everything Annie by going to, or follow my blog:  Join my monthly email list by sending a blank email to
For full information on my four published books, which are volumes of poetry, essays, short stories, and a memoir, please see  
My fifth book, my first novel, will be published sometime this year, 2021.
A. Riding Elephants: Creating Common Ground Where Contention Rules
by Peter Altschul / C 2021 / 387 pages in print
In paperback and e-book from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers
Includes photos of Peter and several of the dogs in his life
For the cover image, free text sample, and direct buying links, as well as more about the author and his contact information, please visit
About the book:
How can we create common ground at home, on the job, and in faith communities? How can we work together better to address those contentious culture war conflicts that divide us? By becoming better at riding our quirky “feelings elephants” through marshalling our less quirky thoughts.
This concept is explored through brief essays on topics ranging from family life, organization behavior, and music, to Christianity, public policy, and politics. These essays focus on lessons drawn from the author’s experiences interviewing for jobs, raising stepchildren, playing music, training New York City taxi drivers, watching sports, shepherding dogs, finding common ground on abortion, leading diversity programs, and loving his wife. They suggest that common ground does exist if we can find the patience, skill, and grace to create it.
Peter currently lives in Columbia, Missouri. This is his third published book.
Cover description:
Three elephants walk left along the water’s edge at sunset. Only the middle one is shown in full, along with its rider. The setting sun is just behind its lifted trunk. One can see the squiggly reflections of the elephants in the water in front of them. The main title and subtitle are at the top of the cover, and the author’s name is at the bottom. The dominant colors of the cover are dark brown, pale blue, and orange-gold. The back cover text is in black letters on a field of rich gold.
B. Outside the Circle: A Collection of Songs and Poems
by Kevin Hubschman / C 2021 / 107 pages in print
In e-book and print from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers
For cover image, free text sample, direct buying links, and author contact information, please visit the author’s website:
About the book:
Outside the Circle is a collection of songs and poems I’ve written and composed through the decades. It’s mostly dark, but for those willing to look beyond my personal demons, there can hopefully be found both flashes of resilience and rays of hope.
The book is dedicated first and foremost to my wife, Trish, who is a fantastic author in her own “write.” Secondly, it is dedicated to everyone who feels bullied, feels different, feels alone, feels friendless, feels hopeless, and feels “outside the circle.” The words “don’t judge a book by its cover” spring to mind as apropos.
About the author:
Kevin Hubschman lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Trish, and their dog, Henry.
He is retired and currently working on a novel loosely based on his life. He would love to connect with people who could help transform some of the pieces found in this publication into polished songs.
Cover description:
On a white background in dark red-orange is the image of an ouroboros, the ancient symbol of a serpent eating its own tail, signifying both infinity and the cycle of birth and death. In the lower left-hand corner of the cover, outside the circle formed by the snake, is the silhouette of a mouse, facing right. The main title is above the circle formed by the snake, the subtitle is within the circle, and the author’s name is below the circle, to the right of the mouse. The main title and the author’s name are in red-orange, and the subtitle is in black. The back cover text is black on white, along with the author’s photo in color.
by Karen Crowder
When March arrives, so does meteorological spring. Days are longer and warmer. There are five special days in March 2021. Daylight saving time begins Sunday, March 14. Saint Patrick’s Day is Wednesday, March 17. Astronomical spring begins Saturday, March 21. Passover begins Saturday, March 27. Palm Sunday occurs March 28. Asparagus and strawberries are available at local supermarkets. With mild temperatures, crocuses bloom by late March.
I have three delicious recipes: Scallop Crab Chowder, Delicious Popovers, and Baked Chicken with Bing Cherries. The chicken recipe was submitted by Marcy Segelman.
A. Scallop Crab Chowder
One- half pound sea scallops
One six-ounce can crabmeat
One medium or large Yukon Gold, russet, or Maine potato
Three pearl onions
One stick butter
Four tablespoons all-purpose flour
One and one-half cups whole milk
One-half cup half-and-half or light cream
One-fourth cup heavy cream
Pinches of curry powder
Garlic powder and salt
One cup water
Liquid from crab meat
One shake of Worcestershire sauce.
1. In a four-quart saucepan, melt one-half stick butter. After five minutes, add one-fourth cup flour. Stir flour-butter mixture for 30-40 seconds until smooth. Add one and one-half cups milk and one-half cup half-and-half or light cream. Add curry powder. Stir with whisk for one to two minutes, until sauce has a smooth consistency. Stir sauce infrequently for another 25 minutes.
2. In a one-quart saucepan, melt one tablespoon butter. Cut onions into small pieces and sauté them in butter for 10 minutes.
3. Cut one medium or large potato into small pieces. Add one more tablespoon butter to the saucepan. Add cut potato. Cover saucepan and sauté vegetables on low heat for 10 minutes. Stir onion-potato mixture with a large spoon for one minute. Add garlic powder and one cup of water. Cover saucepan, cooking vegetables for 15-20 minutes.
4. When sauce is thickened, add potato-onion mixture. Stir ingredients for one minute. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes. While chowder is cooking, rinse small saucepan, then add two tablespoons of butter. Add garlic powder. After five minutes, add scallops to garlic-butter mixture, cooking them for 10 minutes on low heat. Break them in half with a knife and cook them with the crabmeat for seven minutes.
5. Add scallops and crabmeat with its liquid to the chowder. Add one-fourth cup heavy cream and a shake of Worcestershire sauce. Stir chowder with a large spoon for two minutes. Cover large saucepan. Simmer chowder for 15 minutes.
Serve chowder with Ritz or oyster crackers, accompanied with hot rolls and a salad. A hungry family will finish the chowder and request it again.
B. Delicious Popovers
I have loved popovers since childhood. They are delicious hot with butter. They aren’t difficult to prepare. I got this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Classic Recipes.
Two cups all-purpose flour
Four large eggs
Two cups whole milk
One teaspoon salt
Two tablespoons butter.
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat room-temperature eggs with a wire whisk for 80 seconds. Add milk, beating mixture for 60 seconds.
2. In a custard cup, melt two tablespoons butter in microwave for 40 seconds. Let it cool. In a smaller mixing bowl, measure flour and salt. Stir with a fork to aerate mixture for 30 seconds.
3. Add flour-salt mixture to milk-egg mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon for one to two minutes. Add butter and stir again for a minute.
4. Let popover batter rest for 25 minutes to develop the gluten. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
After 25 minutes, grease 22 non-stick muffin pans with a mixture of Crisco and a little butter. With a one-half cup measure, measure popover batter into each cup.
5. Wearing long oven gloves, place muffin pans on bottom rack of oven. Bake popovers for 30-32 minutes.
Remove pans to counter and remove popovers and turn them over. If not serving them immediately, store them in Ziploc bags in refrigerator. Serve them hot with butter with eggs, coffee, soup, or chowder.
C. Baked Chicken with Bing Cherries
Two pounds broiler chicken, skinned, defatted, and quartered
Juice of one-half lemon
Two teaspoons salt-free seasoning
Ground pepper to taste
Hungarian pepper to taste
One 16-ounce can pitted Bing cherries
Two and one-half teaspoons cornstarch
Two tablespoons dry sherry
One tablespoon brandy
One-half cup sliced toasted almonds, optional.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Arrange chicken pieces in a shallow casserole dish with juice of one lemon and seasonings.
3. Bake in upper rack of oven for 50-60 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
4. Drain juice from cherries and combine with cornstarch in a saucepan, cooking until juice is very thick.
5. Add remaining lemon juice, two tablespoons sherry, and one tablespoon brandy. Bring to a boil and add drained cherries. Heat for one minute.
When serving the chicken, pour the hot cherry sauce over the chicken. Pair with steamed rice, tender steamed green beans, and baby carrots.
I hope all Consumer Vision readers and listeners appreciate these recipes. There are clear signs of hope with the distribution of vaccines to end this pandemic. Let us pray for a united and trusting country. Until April, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Passover, and Holy Week.
by Marcy J. Segelman
It’s Purim. Celebrating Purim was the last thing we did as a congregation one year ago in our beloved shul (synagogue).
There are many holidays that we celebrate in the Jewish community. Some are small holidays, and some occur every week, like the Sabbath. These are events we share. Purim is a fun time for all. Today we have carnivals that we run at our temples. We raise money for the Hebrew school and the building fund. The rabbi has a special fund to help those in need.
The story of Purim has many versions. Here’s the standard one. King Ahasuerus of ancient Persia needed a queen because he had had his previous queen executed. He organized a beauty contest. The winner would become his new queen. The winner was Esther, an extraordinarily beautiful young Jewish woman. She became the new queen, but the king didn’t know she was Jewish. Haman, the king’s prime minister, hated the Jews and persuaded Ahasuerus to decree that they should all be killed. However, Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, had previously saved the king’s life, and for that reason, and his love of Esther, Ahasuerus rescinded his decree and ordered Haman’s execution. Purim celebrates the Jews’ escape from destruction.
Hamantaschen are a common Purim treat. They are filled pastries made in a triangular shape. According to one version of the Purim story, that was the shape of Haman’s hat. They are filled with different fillings—for example, of poppyseeds, apples, prunes, or apricots. It’s a very sweet cookie, and I like it with chamomile tea. To make these, you prepare the dough the day before and fill the dough the next day and bake it. That was what my grandmother did.
Purim can be a foolish, silly holiday. The point is to have fun. It’s also customary to give to others. Baskets are made and handed out to people. They can contain a variety of things, such as a tea bag, raisins, dried fruit, apple juice, apple sauce, cocoa mix, chocolate, and maybe a small token, such as a key chain or some kind of small trinket. We dress up on Purim as if it were Halloween. We can have fun as well as taking out our frustration on Haman. One tradition is to use a gragger, a kind of noisemaker, to drown out the name of Haman whenever it is mentioned.
Purim is a very social, party-like holiday. We can be the kind of a person that we normally cannot be the rest of the year. We let our hair down. You’ve heard me talk about having many different families and how we need to help them all. That’s what I’ve been trying to do with a few friends. I have a wonderful religious family at the temple. If I’m in need of anything, I can reach out to them.
Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the February Consumer Vision. The song entitled “I Love you Period” was sung by Dan Baird. Congratulations to the following winners:
Amy Branco of New Bedford, Massachusetts
Daryl Darnell of Urbana, Illinois
And now, here is your trivia question for the March Consumer Vision. What 1970s television comedy series featured a character named Frank Lorenzo? If you know the answer, please email or call 508-994-4972.
Copyright © Consumer Vision Magazine, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Consumer Vision Magazine · 359 Coggeshall St · New Bedford, MA 02746-1952 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp