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Standing on broad shoulders

  • FathersDaySamanthaLapedus
“She married a man just like her father.” How often have you heard people say that? The truth is, the relationship between father and daughter is unique, and a dad is usually the first male object of a girl’s love. It shapes her conscious and unconscious perception of what is acceptable in a life partner, and in men in general, according to Jennifer Kromberg, a clinical psychologist.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | Jun 14, 2018

Our fathers have an impact on our lives, and often it is only as adults that we realise how this plays out. The SA Jewish Report asked women on Joburg Jewish Mommies Facebook group to tell us what they had learnt from their dads as a Father’s Day tribute.

Avila Egdes learnt how a man should treat women by the way her father treated her mother. “My father, Richard Altschuler, is 88 years old and he loved, respected, admired and appreciated my mother,” she says.

“He treated her with absolute respect and dignity. As a child we grew up knowing, understanding and appreciating that my mother was the rock and roots of our family. I am so grateful to have lived that lesson,” says Avila, a mother of four children.

Linda Lipschitz says: “My dad taught us to wait for the first car to stop at the robot before moving on. This has saved me.”

Julie Leibowitz says her architect father was a fearless creator and “designer and builder of everything – from jewellery to bathtubs, lampshades to suspenders”.

She says: “He taught me to trust my creative instincts, and not be afraid of what people thought or said, and to create things myself from scratch.

“He also had very good taste, and taught me that in most cases, ‘less is definitely more’.”

Samantha Lapedus says she learnt never to let life’s troubles stop her. “No matter how many times life knocks my dad down, he always gets up with a smile on his face and positivity.

“When I was 17 and starting clubbing, every time I would go out, my dad would say ‘have fun, be safe, and whatever do you do, make sure you will be able to tell me and mom tomorrow’. That has stuck with me throughout my life and even now, especially being a mom myself, it resonates with me constantly,” she says.

Timor Lifschitz’s dad taught her that it was just fine to be a child at heart. “I found his greatest life lessons to me to be that you never have to take life too seriously, that the simple things in life give the greatest joy, and money doesn’t buy happiness. He also taught me to invest time in nurturing myself and my interests, and that laughter is the best medicine.”

Dana Nathan says: “My dad, Aubrey Josset, made me cognisant of the fact that we have the ability, with just a small act of kindness and awareness of the needs of others, to make a huge difference to a person’s life.”

While it saddens her that he never had the chance to meet her two daughters – because he died shortly after her wedding – she says she is doing her best to pass on his legacy to them.

For Shirley Cohen, Father’s Day is a bitter-sweet affair. “Instead of celebrating a father figure in my life, it’s rather about an acknowledgement of what I have learnt from his absence in my life.” Her mother played the role of both parents as she was a single parent in a single-income household.

“In my father’s absence, I learnt to be resilient. I learnt the need to fight for what I believe is right and just in the world, and to take the moral high ground wherever possible. I learnt to protect the weak and stand strong in the face of adversity. My inner strength has given me the ability to survive the rollercoaster of life. I had no father to lean on in the tough times and as a result, I have emerged stronger and more tenacious.

“A mother of two beautiful girls, I intend to pass down that tenacity, self-belief and strength. No-one else’s opinion of me counts more than my own. I am enough.”

My own father taught me that cowboys do cry. His power and strength were not weakened by the fact that he could shed a tear in an emotional moment. That was just one of the many powerful lessons I learnt from the very first man in my life, my dad.

And on that note, I wish you all a happy Father’s Day for Sunday! And if you can’t be with your own father, take time to remember all that you learnt from him.

Pictured: Samantha Lapedus and her dad, Lawrence Wulfsohn

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