Benard Mendelman

Write Where I Belong

Bernard Mendelman grew up on St. Urbain Street, attended Baron Byng High School, saw the Royals play baseball at Delorimier Downs and still loves to talk about it with wit and humour.

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The following column appeared in an August 2005 edition of The Suburban. I think we are all gamblers, taking unnecessary risks, being lulled into complacency by declining numbers of new COVID-19 cases. I believe we may still get another round of infections that can lead to many more deaths.

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The following column appeared in The Suburban on September 26, 2012. Gold was about the same price then, but once again there are many who see it rising to $3000 an ounce. Bank of America, included, says, “The Fed can’t print gold. It’s heading for $3,000.”

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I wrote this column several years ago when we had the H5N1 virus. Certain conditions that existed then still do now with COVID-19. We got out of that one, as for this one, we can only keep our fingers crossed – that is after we wash them!

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“Kovod” is the Yiddish word for honour and respect. The following are my Kovod-19 Awards — in no particular order — for those who have been risking their health and welfare to help us during these trying times:

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When I was a kid my mother, may she rest in peace, would have me grounded if I was acting like an asshole. That meant I would have to stay home for a couple of days and would not be able to go outside and play with my friends. Now I have been grounded by Premier Legault, because I’m in that …

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Louise Pitre and W. Joseph Matheson are back at the Segal Centre, belting out tunes with abundant energy in The Times They Are a Changin’, a concert revue they created mostly of protest songs written by Jewish musicians during the 1960s. It had its debut in 2017 at The Greenwin Theatre in th…

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I couldn’t help noticing that Justin Trudeau has grown a beard. The only other time I recall Trudeau with facial hair is before he became the Liberal Party leader and grew a respectable moustache and goatee combo for a Movember prostate cancer charity.

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I was a teenager in 1946 when Jackie Robinson was chosen by Branch Rickey, president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to help racially integrate major league baseball. Robinson joined the Montreal Royals, who were a farm team for the Dodgers. As the first black man he was subjected to jeers and even…

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I recently received an unexpected wedding invitation. No it wasn’t from Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, who became engaged last March. Now that J-Lo had promoted her new flick, Hustlers, and shortly will finish headlining the Super Bowl halftime show, I thought that they would then be get…

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Technology: Japan will build a robotic moon base built by robots and people will be taking trips to the moon. China will connect Beijing to London via a high-speed rail — linking the Eastern world with the Western world. Cars will start driving by themselves but even though the military has …

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To many non-Jews, Chanukah seems like an eight-day Jewish version of Christmas. Both holidays fall in December. They’re centered on home and family and overindulging in food. They’re all about presents, lights, candles and recalling miracles. But no way is Chanukah a Jewish version of Christmas.

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Making fun of the Nazis has become fair game. Bugs Bunny, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers have all used them for the sake of comedy and satire. None have done so as frequently or successfully as Mel Brooks in The Producers with Springtime for Hitler. Not only was hi…

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On September 21, I was saddened and shocked to be informed that Dr. Neil Trister had suddenly passed away. He was 74 years old and had been my family doctor for over 45 years, going back to almost the beginning of his practice. My last appointment with Neil — we always called each other by o…

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“They” say that whenever you open your cell phone, companies listen to you and track your whereabouts. “They” also say that Alexa, the voice assistant embedded in smart speakers from Amazon, listens to you all the time. Stupid me for believing that these devices were made for my ears only.

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I complete my breakfast every morning with a slice of toast and a cup of tea. For the toast I use challah or rye bread. Usually I’ll just put margarine on the toast but sometimes I’ll add a slice of cheese on top of it. On occasion I’ll schmeer the toast with cream cheese and add a couple of…

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Pot thoughts: Cannabis for Canadians is the rallying call from our hip Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Toking and vaping is now legal. Like beer, poutine, hockey and the Toronto Raptors, pot has become part of our Canadian national identity. A lot of Canadians have struck it rich by investing…

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There was a time when I trusted the news reported in the press, on the radio and on TV. This is no longer the case as there is so much fake news out there, a lot of it culled through the internet. When I now I write a column I check out all my facts on at least two news sources that are cons…

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I seldom eat red meat anymore, but I do enjoy eating a burger every once in a while. Not well done, but medium with a little bit of the juicy redness still oozing out of the meat. When questioned by the server what I would like on my burger, I would then tell them to add lettuce, tomato, oni…

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There’s a lot of fake news on the Internet concerning my health. Following are some health myths that many have told me that they believe to be true but really aren’t.

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On the third Monday of February, Family Day is celebrated in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick. It’s Louis Riel Day in Manitoba and Islanders Day in P.E.I. In the United States its President’s Day, a federal holiday. But in Quebec, it’s just another Monday. P…

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So far this year you’ve been keeping your New Year resolutions. Most nights you’re getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep. You’ve been going to the gym and doing your workouts regularly. You’ve been eating your required servings of fruits and vegetables every day. At the bakery you skipped the chocol…

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While only between 10 and 15 per cent of the global population identifies as being left-handed, a much larger percentage of famous world leaders, artists, actors, musicians and athletes — past and present — fall into that category.

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Romaine lettuce is being pulled off the shelves across North America because of E.coli contamination. Health authorities in the U.S. and Canada have issued warnings that this type of lettuce has been blamed for sickening people. The Centers for Disease Control are advising us not only to thr…

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Homes throughout Montreal will soon be decorated for Halloween, each trying to outdo each other for the occasion. Black and orange wreaths will be on front doors; Jack-o’-lanterns will light up porches along with scary silhouettes, scarecrows and witches on broomsticks swaying on the lawns. …

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Fifty years later, on August 16, Elvis Presley’s fabulous 1968 TV concert was presented at selected theatres. A new generation was able to watch The King dressed in all his splendour performing some of his best hits, including Heartbreak Hotel and Love Me Tender. Elvis went out on that stage…

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Driving along Guelph Ave. in Côte Saint-Luc, I was ticketed for not making a complete stop at a stop sign at the corner of Einstein Ave. A cop was lurking on Einstein besides the synagogue. Before flagging me down, he stopped the car in front of me. I had already come to a stop and then as I…

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Canada now has a website where you can correspond and connect with convicted murderers. Both men and women are on the website. Each convict profile has a description paragraph written by the inmate themselves as well as a mini-bio that tells you who they are, where they are serving time, wha…

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With all the sad “breaking news” I’ve seen so far this year, I’m looking forward to what should be a pleasant diversion on May 19 when Prince Harry ties the knot with U.S. actress Meghan Markle. I’m betting it will be a joyous wedding ceremony watched by millions across the world. I wouldn’t…

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Before the arrival of Passover, as is the custom of members of my faith, we removed all the bread products from our home. We thoroughly washed all our dishes, plates, and cutlery and table clothes and put them out of sight, replacing them with the special ones for the holiday. We did our spr…

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Ruth Wilensky passed away last week at the age of 99. Until she was 95, Ruth stood behind the counter of the light lunch restaurant preparing and serving Wilensky’s Specials, the salami and baloney concoction grilled on a kaiser roll that was conceived by her late husband, Moe. Ruth was as c…

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This past Sunday, March 11 we moved our clocks ahead one hour as we switched to Daylight Saving Time. The sun now sets an hour later.

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I am an optimist about this year, hoping from all the bad news and sad news last year, we will get glad news and 2018 will turn out to be a doggone good year. That’s because the Chinese New Year that begins on February 16 and continues to March 2 is The Year of the Dog. Every year is named f…

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For many years Sarah Katz and Marie Cyr lived next door to each other in the Snowdon area of Montreal. They were married for over 60 years when both of their husbands passed away last winter. As their children had all moved out, the two widows in their early 80s found their homes too big and…

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In my first column of 2017, I set down the rules that apply if I invite you out to lunch. I said, “Politics is off the board. I don’t care what The Donald tweeted today. Don’t tell me you feel sorry for Hillary. Let her look after her foundation and spend time with her grandchildren. Don’t t…

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Toy fad crazes come and go. The newest toy that every kid must have is Fingerlings. When slipped onto a child’s finger, this battery-operated toy monkey with touch sensors reacts to their tap, sound or motions with blinks, movements and heart-warming babbling. Blow a kiss at an interactive F…

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I received an email recently that was sent to members of the media from Mrs. Claus informing us that her husband, Santa, is planning to retire. Spending the last three weeks at the mall, listening to children’s gift wishes has drained all his energy. Thankfully, he no longer had to write out…

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Tuesday, at sundown, I began celebrating the eight-day festival of Chanukah. Most of my non-Jewish friends who wish me a happy Chanukah are confused by the word because of the many ways it’s spelled – Chanuka, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannuka and Hannukka. It’s also difficult to pronoun…

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The Grey Cup game played on Sunday, Nov. 26 in our nation’s capital during a blinding snowstorm was one of most exciting ever. Naturally, I was rooting for the Toronto Argonauts to beat the Calgary Stampeders because of their new head coach, Marc Trestman. He was instrumental in bringing two…

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There was a time when dining out at restaurant for me meant eating lots of red meat. A medium rare rib steak with a baked potato or a slab of rare roast beef and Yorkshire pudding was what made my mouth water. But that was long ago. On special occasions I would indulge and eat at Moishes or …

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For its first production of the new season, the Segal Centre recently ended a twice-extended run of The Hockey Sweater. With original book and lyrics by Emil Sher and music and lyrics by Jonathan Monro, the show was put on in partnership with the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations. The tw…

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Seventy-year-old Larry David was a struggling stand-up comedian until he got his big break in 1988 when he co-created the hit TV comedy Seinfeld. He has since received millions of dollars from that show’s syndication revenues. David then went on in the year 2000 to create and star in Curb Yo…

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As I have since the day I became eligible, I went to the ballot box to cast my vote last week. I consider being allowed to vote is a privilege of living in a democratic society, but I must admit I find the process stressful.

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Montreal would like more of the names of its rues, public spaces, parks and municipal buildings to reflect the contributions made by women to the city’s history. The city created a name bank last year on the occasion of International Women’s Day to help come up with the names of 375 prominen…

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Significantly, October 12, on Simchas Torah, a holiday that marks the end of the cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle, I lost a lifelong friend when Yudke Grossman passed away. We grew up as youngsters on St. Urbain Street near Laurier Avenue, living next door to each oth…

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The other day while watching TV in my den, I thought it would be nice to have a nosh, so I went into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea and get some chocolate chip cookies. By the time I got to the kitchen, I forgot what I came there for, but as soon as I returned to the den I had total…