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The World Without You
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Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

Created: 12/28/12

Replies: 22

Posted Dec. 28, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 368

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Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

Marilyn and David bought kosher food and a new set of dishes so Noelle could eat in their home, but she still won’t eat there. Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?


Posted Jan. 04, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 45

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

NO. It just says that she doesn't trust her parents or she thinks she is better than everyone else.


Posted Jan. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 40

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

No, I think it made her come off as a "holier than thou" person, who doesn't trust anyone but herself and is not appreciative of any efforts made to accommodate her. To be honest, Noelle is the character I liked the least of all of them.


Posted Jan. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 80

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RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

No - I thought that she was very rude to her parents and didn't appreciate the effort that they had made.


Posted Jan. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeffs

Join Date: 06/18/12

Posts: 47

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

I agree with Julia. I thought Noelle was definitely the least likeable of all the characters in the book. She did seem to make many decisions for the right reasons, but only for how they made her appear.


Posted Jan. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 49

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

No. I'm not familiar with the rules Orthodox Jews follow, but I'm sure there were other times that she compromised for convenience's sake. Considering the efforts her parents made for her family to be able to eat with everyone else, I think she could have compromised. Like others, I didn't find Noelle at all likable or sympathetic.


Posted Jan. 05, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 200

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RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

Noelle's decision was totally out of line in my opinion. It is another example of people being fanatical about their religious beliefs to the point that the the hurt other's feelings and as julinaa said acting so 'holier than thou' that it is very insulting to everyone around them. In the face of her attitude I thought her parents acted pretty cool.


Posted Jan. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debrals

Join Date: 11/28/11

Posts: 18

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

No- I feel that she was trying to make a statement to her parents and her family. I agree with everyone else on this question. Also, she did not appreciate the effort her parents made for her and her family.


Posted Jan. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
eileenp

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 33

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

Noelle's choice was heartbreaking, but she was trying her best. There were things about her that I found difficult to take, but you have to give her credit in that she was trying to do what she thought her religion (and her husband) dictated as 'right.' Given what a difficult person Amram was, it might have been easier to eat the kosher food they brought off their paper plates using their plastic utensils than deal with his distain and judgment. I thought it was interesting that we never saw what Noelle thought about it.


Posted Jan. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lorie

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 24

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

No, I think she should have eaten the food her parents went so out of their way to provide. She could have used disposable plates and cutlery and shown a little flexibility.


Posted Jan. 07, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 32

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

I think I would reminded Noelle that one of the 10 Commandments is "Honor your father and mother". They were trying really hard to accommodate her and her rules. As Lorie said, she could have eaten the kosher food off of the paper plates and with plastic silverware. I might have reminded her that King David broke the rules and yet he was "a man after God's heart." She was too sanctimonious and rigid. I also wondered how they were able to eat 3 day old bagels! Any bagel I have ever had was like a brick after only one day! I felt really sorry for those kids eating stale bagels and cold cuts that traveled on a plane (in their luggage in the unheated bay?, ELAL wouldn't let it go in their carry on!) that had probably frozen and heated up several times. It is wonder they didn't get food poisoning!


Posted Jan. 07, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 41

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

I don't agree with some of the other comments in that Noelle was being rude on purpose. I think she was genuinely trying to follow her religious customs to the best of her ability.


Posted Jan. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 83

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RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

Frankly, I thought it so ridiculous that she brought food from home. Luggage weight must not have had an effect on this family without much income. I'd imagine she could have bought what she felt she needed when they arrived at their destination. But also, why the heck couldn't the family eat what was provided them by Nicole's family? Wasn't it kosher and if so, is there a difference of origination? If the author gave a reason, I missed it!


Posted Jan. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 40

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

Noelle's parents (David in particular) went to considerable trouble to assure that the food was kosher and even bought a new set of dishes, so there would be no issue about non-Kosher dishes. I think what makes me most impatient with Noelle's decision is that it would have taken her all of 30 seconds to call or e-mail her parents and tell them not to go to any trouble, as she'd be bringing her own food. It would have been the considerate thing to do. Last I knew, both phones and e-mail work between the US and Israel. I've entertained Orthodox Jews in my home and my office; I've asked, and they've told me what to do to make it possible for them to eat the food. David did what was necessary. To me, Noelle was just continuing her adolescent rebellion against her family, though in a new way.


Posted Jan. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

I thought it was the ultimate rudeness to snub efforts made to accommodate Noelle and Amran's family, to keep kosher as well as it was practical and possible to do. It was like a slap in the face to her parents, especially her father.


Posted Jan. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 96

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RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

I certainly do not. Her parents tried to abide by her requirements. I have met many Jews (and I am Jews) who do the "I am more Jewish than you" thing. It's great that she is trying to follow her beliefs. But we are also to honor our mother and father (as someone else mentioned). Also, I am sure this scene was a great embarrassment to her parents. In Jewish teaching, embarrassing someone in public is considered a serious crime, akin to killing someone. Judaism is sensitive to how painful an experience humiliation can be. She could have placed paper plates over the new dishes and served her own food at the table with the rest of the family. She could have made some small compromises that would not have been in violation of her rules -- i.e., buy a new knife that is used only for cutting their food and buy only dairy or parve food for them. Then serve the food on the new dishes -- even on paper plates if she must. It can be done without offending the host. She didn't seem to care that she offended them and that was wrong.


Posted Jan. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 83

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RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

No, I don't agree with her. Her parents went to a lot of effort and I thought there must be some way in which a compromise should be reached. I think she used this as a way to st her self apart from her family and in her mind at least, appear to be superior.


Posted Jan. 18, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 56

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RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

I've read the other responses to this question which I don't usually do until I've submitted my opinion and I'm glad I did. I am Jewish, but not orthodox. For strictly orthodox people there is no compromise. While most orthodox people might have felt that kosher food served on paper plates using plastic disposable silverware might be enough, there are some who would not agree. I think Amram was particularly obnoxious. While other participants in this discussion have cited the Ten Commandments and have found Noelle disrespectful of her parents, others could argue that she was being respectful of her God


Posted Jan. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shirleyf

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 15

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

I do not agree with Noelle's decision, however, I think that food was the only thing that she had control of and like an anorexic, she exerted this control to an excess. I think that she would have had an argument with Amram if she had compromised by using paper plates and plastic cutlery and that her decision was an attempt to show him that she was as orthodox as he expected her to be and as he expected their children.


Posted Jan. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Denise B-K

Join Date: 01/19/12

Posts: 26

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

Interesting that above posts weigh so heavily on the opinion that Noelle was inconsiderate in refusing to eat off the new plates her parents bought. Agree with eileenp that “Noelle’s choice was heartbreaking.”

First, recall that despite the plates being Kosher, Noelle explained that the rest of the kitchen – ‘fridge, stove, sink, counters, utensils etc – were not Kosher thus did not meet the requirements of her faith. Second, Noelle was essentially placed in the situation to choose between her parents gesture and her husband’s dedication to Orthodox Judaism. Recall that Noelle was staying with her family for a few days, but then had to return home with her husband. Based on what we know about Amram’s behavior a few days of heartbreak is incomparable to weeks of heartbreak once home.


Posted Jan. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 35

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

I do not agree with her decision although I'm not sure about the kitchen elements and their importance in Kosher. My friends eat food I prepare in my kitchen. This was an element of how she was following everything Amram wanted, which was a picture of their marriage. By the end I think she realized that she should be making some of her own decisions. I assumer that when she returns next summer with her children, as she wanted to, that she will be eating off the dishes and using the stove, etc. The biggest question is what will happen to their marriage. He certainly does not seem like a good provider or even a good father and husband.


Pegh
Posted Feb. 15, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

Pegh, I think your comment is very perceptive re: what was going on in Rachel's head. It's a great summary of what I felt, too, but didn't express as well.


Posted Feb. 26, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janen

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 32

RE: Do you agree with Noelle’s decision?

No, I agree with most of the other posts. She sure could have found food to eat in this country. I'm there are kosher grocery stores in NY ! By doing this she kept herself apart from her family which she clearly wanted to be a part of. It also contributed to her sense of superiority.


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