Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


  To Receive We Must Give

To Succeed We Must Use the Proper Ingredients


There is an old German expression that explains it well: “Backe, backe Kuchen der Backer hat gerufen, wer will guten Kuchen backen der muss haben sieben Sachen: Zucker und Saltz, Butter und Shmaltz, Milch und Mehl und Safran macht ten Kuchen gel.” (If you want to bake a tasty cake you must have seven ingredients: sugar and salt, butter and grease, milk and flour, and saffron to give it a yellow color). This recipe can be used for life situations.  When we want to bake a good cake we must have all of the necessary ingredients that make it good.  To earn a living it is necessary to work hard, to be diligent.  If we want a profession we must examine what is needed in the work world, what is necessary to reach our goal, attend an educational institution, apprentice for the chosen trade, and have the personality to achieve that which we are yearning to be and do.  To be a good secretary we must be able to utilize the computer, to be friendly, forthcoming and dress neatly and to some extent conservatively and appropriately. To become an engineer we must attend an authentic university, be bright, understand measurements, numbers, and much more.  To achieve being a competent social worker or human services professional we must understand what is expected and needed, attend a college and graduate school where our subject is taught adequately, and must know how to handle people and their problems.  We must recognize that the salary in that field will be relatively small compared to most other professions.  To strive for being a physician it is essential to recognize that a minimum of eight years are essential with addition of more years in a residency in the specific field into which we must enter.  As an accomplished physician we must be reserved but professional, be able to deal with the human body as well as with the patients and their varied personalities.  If we want to build homes, be builders, it is essential to be skilled craftsmen, know what tools and products to use to be sought after because of the finished products we are able to use as well as all the necessary ingredients to produce what is wanted.

The same is true of religion.  We must recognize what it is that is needed to fulfill the tenets of our religion, whatsoever that may be. As Jews we are very much aware of this. There are some of our religious kin who have abandoned the Jewish religionThey may have changed their name, and superficially taken the habits or pseudo practices of others.  Basically they cannot hide from their innermost being, regardless of their efforts.  Our very orthodox compatriots must follow as many of the “caryagym mitzwot” (613 duties/blessings) as possible.  Orthodoxy has many rules, regulations, tenets which must or must not be done from birth to death.  Examples are numerous but only a few will be mentioned here.  The Jewish boy must have a circumcision eight days after he is born, which must be done by a competent “moyle” who is religious and capable to perform the surgery.  There are innumerable prayers that are recited before and after meals, at bedtime, on particular holidays, and much more. Boys have a bar mitzwah when they become thirteen years of age and are considered as “men,” competent human beings who must follow the edicts of all that must be done as a responsible orthodox Jew.  All of life has the directive for men and women from birth to death.  At the end of life, “Tachrichim”, burial clothing, cover the body and the burial instructions and ceremonies are given and applied.


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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