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Mtl_zack's avatar

How do i stop the propoganda mail?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6751points) September 17th, 2008

i get a lot of newsletters from my synagogue about upcoming events and rallies. many of these rallies are very unjust and dont show both sides of the coin. i called my synagogue and asked them to stop sending me information about how all muslims are out to get me, and how i shouldnt talk to muslim people and to support israel blindly, but they keep sending these ignorant letters by post and email.

i want to have no part in the judgment of an entire population based on one group of people.

bonus question: my grandmother brings articles to the dinner table regarding the same things and every week there is a fight and every week, tears are shed at the table and theres screaming and shouting because of this. sometimes, hurtfull things are said to someone else that shouldnt be said or even thought of. how do i make her stop bringing up these judgemental topics?

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6 Answers

srmorgan's avatar


Jewish households can have some very complex dynamics. Been there and done that.

How old is your grandmother and where was she born? I ask for a very specific reason and that is to find out if she is a Holocaust survivor or if any of her close relatives were lost or suffered in the Holocaust.
The Holocaust was a systematic effort to murder us all and make Europe <<Judenrein>> or clean of Jews. People of that generation are very concious of any perceived anti-semitism and are especially concerned with the political and military situation in Israel and the environs. If this is the case, you are not going to shake her from her passionate concerns because they are embedded too deeply within her.

There are just some arguements that you are not going to win and you just might have to give in to her both because of the stolidity of her position and moreover, out of just plain respect for her age and position in your family.

Young people argue with their elders. It’s natural, it is an innate trait. So accept the fact that there may be some conflict every Erev Shabbat and try to put her opinions in perspective. Demonstrating respect is a mitzvah.


Mtl_zack's avatar

she is not a holocaust survivor. she was born in montreal, canada, and her parents too. she is 80 years old. her grandparents came from eastern europe, poland and romania to be specific.

my other grandmother is a holocaust survivor and lived through very anti-simetic times in hungary, but she is open to many ideas and often reads the Koran to gain another perspective on the things that are being told to her. this grandmother is 99 years old in october.

what saddens me isnt just her stubbornness and intolerance, but the fact that she makes people, even my father, her son cry at the table, or afterward, at least 2 weeks of the month. i mean, she calls her very own blood and flesh names that could make someone, under certain circumstances, commit suicide.

its not right to tell someone what they should be thinking. everyone has their own brain, heart, body and soul for a reason.

kevbo's avatar

At the risk of coloring myself misogynist, some women of that era adopted hysteria as their weapon of choice to satisfy their need for drama and to exert control in a household.

Also, older women (perhaps men, too) can get to a point where they feel they can say whatever the hell they want. There’s actual brain research that speaks to this tendency.

kevbo's avatar

Regarding the correspondence problem… here’s an interesting solution.

USPS Form 1500 allows you to restrict any mail sender from sending you “unwanted sexually oriented and pandering advertisements.” The catch is that it is solely up to you what is offensive and shouldn’t be sent to you. The freedom to apply this request to any piece of mail is supported on page 13 of this postal bulletin, which you will probably need to show to your post office person when and if you turn in the form. Here’s a site that sort of talks about the whole strategy.

The e-mail is probably easiest dealt with by blocking the sender or creating a filter that will send e-mail with certain parameters (subject line contains: [insert phrase here]) to the trash.

edit:: okay, just remembered you live in Canada. Well, see if there’s something similar.

srmorgan's avatar


Based on your description of her performance at meal times, she might just be showing some unpleasant signs of growing older and having some issues with mental capacity.
I am not a physician but I have seen people become generally “angrier at the world” after they hit a certain thresshold. My father, who would have been 86 today, died last Thanksgivivng (US) and as he became weaker and weaker last year, his whole personality changed and he became angry and argumentative and frankly after his last operation he said some mean and nasty things about relatives long gone and some still living that just shocked me. He never acted like this before, he might occasionally lose his temper, but this was just plain being mean.

I am not trying to diagnose your grandmother but sometimes age produces unpredictable behaviors and if she is causing your Dad to lose it then I suppose he is seeing her in a different manner.

Anyway that you can skip a couple of dinners? Just to extricate yourself from this for a week or three?


Seesul's avatar

Having been through Alzheimer’s with my mom, I can second what SRM has mentioned. It may very well be symptoms of aging and perhaps the disease. We had 20/20 hindsight with my mom and could trace signs of it back to as early as her 50’s (though not as severe). In it’s final form, she was saying and doing things totally against her character and smaller things that were part of her became magnified and uncontrollable.

I’m not saying your grandmother has it, just something to consider and throw into the mix.

The way that I finally figured out to work around it with my mom (and make all of our lives more pleasant) was to distract as quickly as possible. Try it as a team with your family. Have the distractions ready. Find something neutral and pleasant to discuss. Just take what she brings, and say I’d really like to look at these later, in more depth (you can do what you wish with them later) and since she seems to be going back to her childhood stages of ego, play to that and ask her things about herself. Things like her early life, and guide the conversation towards pleasant things and, better yet, funny things. Try to turn around the negative.

Best wishes, I know how hard it is.

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