Tuesday, December 31, 2013


It's Friday night. It's time to put the kids to bed. We go through the regular routine of shema and songs and then I talk to my son for a little bit. He's my big boy and we can actually have conversations before he goes to sleep...sometimes :).

"Good night, SB. Hashem is always watching over you," I say.

"But not today," he responds.

"What?? Why do you say that?" I ask, taken aback.

"Because Hashem rests on shabbos."

I could pinch this little boy's cheeks. I love the way he thinks. And I love that he thinks. He uses his little head and there's so much going on in there. It's delicious. It's precious. And I'm happy when he can verbalize these things and we can work out his cute emunah questions, doubts and uncertainties...especially at such a young age.

So I explain to him that Hashem never rests. Hashem never goes to sleep. He created rest on Shabbos so that we can rest. 

We go through the seven days of creation and what happened on each day.

Hashem didn't rest on Shabbos. He doesn't need to rest. He wants us to rest so we can benefit from all the things Shabbos has to offer us, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

He seems to understand now. 

He seems to get it.

And I wonder...

Why is it that when a little kid asks a question, it's okay and we take it seriously? Why, when they get a little older and express something that sounds like they are...thinking...does it become a problem?

Why are girls labeled an apikores for asking questions their teacher cannot answer?

Will that encourage them to continue asking?

To continue searching?

Judaism does have the answers.

And it's okay to ask.

We should ask.

Asking shows we are thinking.

It shows that something is bothering us...bothering us enough to question.

We may not always get a satisfying answer right away. Some questions are pretty big. (Like the shortest but hardest question of "Why??")

But we should always ask.

It's good to think. (But not too much... :)) 

It's good to question.

And it's great when we can get good answers.

May you be able to have the right people to ask your questions to, get good answers and come out feeling enriched. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013


“I wanna go with you Tatty,” my little girl says.

“Sure, you can come along!”

“Where are you going?” she questions.

And I think. 

She doesn’t even know where her tatty is going yet she wants to go with him.

This must be what it means when Hashem praised the Jewish people with lechteich acharei bamidbar-that we followed Him in the desert, not knowing where we were going.

If you love someone, when they go somewhere, you want to go along with them.

When you feel safe and secure with someone, it doesn’t matter where they are going, you just want to be in their presence.

Just like my daughter.

Just like the Jewish people.

We trusted Hashem. We felt safe in His presence. He took care of us while we were in Mitzrayim, even though at times He put us through so much and we may have felt so distant and so hurt. 

We still called out to Him, even though He was the One causing us to have to work so hard.

We loved Him, even though it was He who made us go through the back-breaking labor.

We connected to Him. 

And we followed Him. Into the desert, the barren land…not because of where we were going, but because Who we were going with.

And by sticking through it all, the rough times in Mitzrayim, the pleasant and not-so-pleasant times in the Midbar, we became who we did. 

The Jewish People. 

The Chosen Nation.

The special people that we are.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Parshah Poem

I wrote this last year and wanted to share it with you once more.

Parshas Shemos
The Jews enslaved
Put to work
Backbreaking labor
Not much time to think
Just work work work
No time for a drink
No time for much
Except work
Gather materials
Keep moving
Keep going
Keep working
No stopping.

In between
The schlepping
The dragging
The pulling
A Jew lets out
A sigh
A sigh of pain
Of emotion
Of despair
Of prayer.

No time to talk
No time to express
Real prayer
So instead
They groaned
They sighed
They cried
They expressed
That which real words
Cannot express.

And Hashem
He heard
Vata'al shav'asam
Their outcry
Their deep expression of pain
Went up
Rose up
To the highest Heavens
And He heard
Their unspoken words
Their sigh
Their groans.
Their cries
Spoke volumes
That only Hashem
Could hear
Could really know
The meaning behind
The depth of
Their pain.

The message
We all
Can take
Is the same.
Hashem knows
Hashem hears
Your unspoken words
When pain is too strong
To talk
To express
Real words of prayer
He still hears
The silent whisper
The silent voice
Behind each sigh
Behind each cry
Direct it to Him
He hears
He knows
He understands
And He listens.

Much has changed
Since the time
We spent
In mitzrayim
We are not tortured
Put to work
Forced labor
But we go through
Of pain
It's the same
We're the same
We turn to Hashem
Our Father
In those moments
Of despair
Of pain
Of emotion
In prayer
With that same sigh
With that same cry
He listens.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pink Dreidel

My daughter just celebrated her 3rd birthday. 

It's so cute how little kids think. When we made her birthday together with one of the many family Chanukah parties, she was a little confused. She woke up the following morning, and the next one too, with the same question. She wanted to know, "Is it still my birthday?"

She is a lucky girl. She's happy, she's healthy, she's adorable ke"h, she is smart...and she got a nice, big birthday present from her mommy and tatty.

But when we asked her what she wanted for her birthday present, her answer was simple. "I want a pink pwesent." That's all she needed. A pwesent that's pink. And when she got a pink dreidel from her Zaidy on Chanukah, she was so thrilled. She didn't need more than that.

My little girl is so not high maintenance. She is happy with a little pink dreidel.

And what about us? What does it take to make us happy? 

What are our dreams and wishes? 

If someone asked you, what can I buy you for your birthday? Or as a thank you gift? What would you want?

Are you happy with the things you already have?

Are you satisfied with the many gifts you have been given? 

We are so blessed. Our generation has been given so so much more than the previous generations. Our necessities were luxuries in the past. Heating in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, coats, spring jackets, rain jackets...and look at the standard teenager's wardrobe! One shabbos outfit? Who ever heard of that in today's times? 

We have shopping centers, huge supermarkets with everything you can ever imagine, every brand, color and variation of the same item (check out the different flavors of chocolate chips and you'll see what I mean :-)), avenues filled with stores of all types (think: 13th Avenue, 18th Avenue, Avenue J, Kings Highway...and that's just some of Brooklyn !)...there is so much that Hashem has given us.

We truly are lucky. 

It says in Pirkei Avos, "Aizehu ashir, hasame'ach bichelko." Who is rich? He who is happy with his portion.

Are you happy with the things you have? Or are you always looking for more? More clothing, more accessories, nicer, fancier, better, bigger, more exotic...and...why? Why do you want it?

My little girl is satisfied with a little pink dreidel.

My dear daughter, your birthday has passed. My bracha to you is that you should continue to have such simple expectations from your parents. You should always be happy with the little things you have. Your needs should always be met...and your wants should stay as plain and simple as the little pink dreidel that made you so happy on your 3rd birthday.

Happy (belated) Birthday, CG!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. 

There are so many messages to take from this eight-day holiday that illuminates our long, dark winter. 

Besides for the miracle of the Chanukah lights-that although there was only enough oil for one night, it burned for an additional seven nights, there was also an amazing victory of rabbim beyad me'atim-the large army was given over into the hands of the few. The Jews had no chance of winning this war, yet they went out and fought. They placed their trust in Hashem, davened to Him and did what they had to do.

What a lesson for us to take! 

As Jews, we need to stop holding on to studies and statistics and place our trust in Hashem. We need to do our hishtadlus, do what needs to be done in our personal situations and then let go of all those predictions.

There are statistics now for just about everything.

The amount of car accidents, infant deaths, people living with depression...the list goes on and on.

The percentage of Americans who are still unemployed, searching for jobs.

Statistics can be frightening. They can make us look at the numbers and give up hope.

The amount of people who will never recover from specific cancers.

The amount of people who will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. 
I just heard a crazy statistic for that. One in two people will have a diagnosis. Does that make sense?! How could a human being live with such a fear...knowing that they might be one of the two "chosen" to deal with a life-threatening illness? And the way they say it can be prevented it is by taking care of our bodies, eating healthfully and going to a doctor every so often to make sure our bodies are in check. But assuming we do all that, we can't know what will be. We must remember that ultimately our health is in Hashem's hands. 

There are studies for how many people die each year from unnatural causes. 

For the amount of babies born with birth defects or health issues.

And for the amount of families living below the poverty level.

And for the effects of certain foods on our bodies-to the extent that if everything is taken so literally, I think we would stop eating each fruit and vegetable and live on water alone because there is a danger connected to every single one. Many of them can increase the intensity of migraines (if you are one of those who suffer from them) and stopping to eat just about everything should be able to make them go away, right? :) And no chocolate of course! Who can live without chocolate? Not I... :-)

There are statistics stating how many children grow up in single parent homes, whether because of separation, divorce or the death of one of their parents. 

It's scary to see these numbers.

And then someone came along and added to these statistics-the percentage of girls who will never get married. That made me really angry. How could they publish studies like this and take away the hope of girls who are waiting to move on with their lives?? Did they take into account that there is a Ribbono Shel Olam who runs the world and that He designated someone for everyone? There are girls who get married for the first time to someone who was married before. Was that taken into account too? The amount of men who either lost their wives or got divorced and were looking to remarry...and married one of those single girls? I'm not saying this is the only answer, but statistics like these upset me. If publicizing the numbers the way it was done will cause more pain to girls in shidduchim, I don't know that it was the right thing to do.

At the end of the day, we must remember Who is in charge, Who runs the show.

And this is the message we can take from Chanukah.

As Jews, we need to release our grasp on those numbers and strengthen our hold on Hashem. We need to rely on doctors, shadchanim, neighbors and friends a little less and depend on Hashem a little more.

The chashmonaim didn't take the numbers into account. If they would have had a full count of the amount of soldiers and elephants coming towards them, would they have tried to lift an arrow? But they went out. And they fought. 

And they won.

Rabbim beyad me'atim.

Because statistics don't mean anything when Hashem is the one fighting.

And when they went searching for a jug of oil and there was none to be found, did they give up hope and say it was statistically impossible to find one? 


They kept searching.

And when they found just one, they lit it, even though from a statistical standpoint there was no chance for the menorah to keep burning until they would have more oil to light it again.

And it stayed lit.

Because when Hashem is keeping the flame alive, it will not get extinguished.

This Chanukah, when you stand before the menorah and watch the man of the house light it-or if you will be home lighting on your own, take this message of emunah into your hearts. Let your faith in Hashem go up one notch as you internalize this powerful message of Chanukah. Of never giving up hope. Of letting go of the numbers. Of holding on to Hashem.

Because statistically, realistically, He can do anything.

Happy Chanukah!

Monday, November 25, 2013

When There's a Way Out

I posted this last year and wanted to share the message with you once again.

The story of Chana and her seven sons.

It's a story that is so hard to understand.

How did a mother watch all her children, one after the next, get killed?

Was she proud that they stood up for what was right?

That they didn't give in?

Did she wish one of them would have succumbed?

Will we ever know?

I want to focus on a different part of this story for a minute.

When the last child, the youngest of all seven, stood before the king and was asked to bow down, he refused. Just like all his brothers.

The king had mercy on this little innocent child. He decided to give him a little opening, a chance to remain alive. He threw his ring to the ground and asked the child if he would pick up the ring. Although this would mean bowing down to the idol, since that wouldn't be the little boy's intention, it would be fine...right? He would just be bending down to pick up the ring of the king. Wouldn't that be okay?

His life would be spared. He would be able to continue living! Should he do it? Would he do it?


The child, this pure, little innocent child did not give in. He did not grab on to his last hope for life. He saw a loophole-an opportunity to do something just a teeny bit wrong but a little right at the same time. And he didn't give in.

How many times in life are we open to loopholes? How many times do we see a way out and we run?

Can we remain strong? Stick to our convictions? Stick to what's right and do it even when it's hard?

Just something to think about...and a powerful lesson to take from a little child who gave up his life so as not to do the wrong thing...even when there was such an easy way out.

Such strength.

Such rock-solid emunah he must have had to be able to withstand a split-second test.

I am jealous of his mother.

Not for what she had to go through...but for the chinuch she gave her children so they were able to withstand such an incredible test. Each and every one of them was able to overcome it.

May you be able to stay strong and do what is right...even when there's a way to escape...even when no one will know.

Because Hashem Above always knows. He sees the deepest parts of your heart...that no one else will know about. He understands your challenges and your struggles.

May you always be able to stick to doing what is right.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fwd: Fwd: Fwd:

We've all gotten one of them at some point. A text or email asking us to daven for someone who is sick. 

What is your natural reaction to one of those forwards? Do you pass it on? Do you say tehillim first? Do you just delete the message?

There are some people who are quick to pass on tehillim names. The email or text comes in, they pass it on and feel satisfied that they did theirs. They may even forget to say the perek because they were busy figuring out which ten people (or more if they really want to feel righteous :)) they could pass the name on to.

I have a problem with tehillim forwards. 

They have made us so callous. Unfortunately, they are sent around so often that it's hard to take heart. To see each name as an individual. As a person suffering who really needs our tefillos

There are times that emails are sent around and around and around without verifying where they came from and if the person still needs those tefillos. It is sad. I personally have gotten tehillim names after a person passed away r"l or after the person was healed. I've gotten emails about the surgery that was going to be "TODAY" in big bold letters...and I've had to scroll down through names and email addresses, only to see that the surgery took place a week and a half before.

So I decided to do what I think makes sense. I don't forward tehillim names unless I know-firsthand-who the person is and what their condition is. 

I'm not so rigid though. If a friend is passing on a name and she can speak to someone who knows the choleh firsthand, I'll pass it on too. The main thing is that the name shouldn't become another one on the list that is just mumbled without feeling. I don't need specific details of how the person is doing, I just need to get some kind of update so I know whether or not the person still needs those tefillos

So what about all those forwards?

I don't pass them on.

Instead, I say one perek of tehillim for that person and pray to Hashem that he/she be healed. 

Passing on the names without knowing anything about the person makes it so cheap. We don't value the person behind the tehillim name anymore. We don't feel with them.

Of course, there is something special about the way we can pass on a name within minutes and how people stop whatever they are doing to daven for someone who is sick. 

But at what cost?

We have lost our hearts.

We have lost the feeling behind a name. 

We have lost the personal touch.

When we were little girls in elementary or high school and someone came in and wrote their grandfather's name on the blackboard, we all davened with such fervor, with such intensity, begging Hashem to heal our fellow classmate's grandfather. 


Names are passed around like old news.

And it's sad. 

Sad that our hearts have become hardened. Sad that we don't take on each name we hear with the seriousness and emotion it deserves.

But what can we do?

We get too many names, too many forwards, r"l and the list keeps growing. And we have no idea who sent it and why we are saying tehillim for each specific choleh.

When we know what their situation is, it makes it so much more real to us...and we could daven with more feeling.

I don't know if there is a solution to this. Unfortunately, there are so many names, so many people who need our tefillos...and we are not capable of healing them.

But there is one thing we can try to do. 

We can try to connect to the ones we do know. We can daven for the sick people we do feel connected to...and beg Hashem, the only One who can, to heal them.

As for the other names that are passed around, I think it is best to say a perek for them and ask the one who sent it if they can give you updates so you can know if you need to keep davening. 

Please, let's try not to make these names just another name. Forwarding tehillim names non-stop takes away the heart. Say your perek. Don't forward just to feel good about yourself. It only cheapens the growing list of cholim. It chips away at the emotions in our hearts and holds us back from feeling along with those who are fighting to live.

May Hashem have rachmanus on all the sick children, parents, grandparents...on every single patient and may He heal each of them with a complete refuah shelaima
May He listen to the heartfelt tefillos of those who are davening for these cholim and let them experience nissim-so they can show the doctors, nurses and medical staff who really runs the world and how powerful our tefillos are!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Light in the Darkness

Today is Rosh Chodesh Kislev. 

Kislev is the month of miracles. It is also the month where we can find light in the darkness, find hope in the midst of despair, find an inner spark of strength that will help us carry on.

It is starting to get dark earlier. The clock was just changed and the days are getting shorter. You must remember that morning follows every dark night. Every single one. No matter how dark things may be, there is always a little flicker of hope. Of trusting Hashem that things can and will change for the better. 

Hashem can do anything! He has the ability, resources and the power to cause anything in our lives to change at any given moment. With our limited eyesight, we sometimes think we know what it will take to make those things happen, but Hashem is beyond our understanding. He doesn't have a human brain and doesn't "think" in human terms. He is so above us and so capable of anything, that he can perform miracles-because He is our G-d. 

Golel ohr mipnei choshech v'choshech mipnei ohr-Hashem rolls away light before darkness and darkness before light. It is a cycle of light and dark, but the light will always follow the dark night. Life has ups and downs, there are times when we feel weak and want to give up and times when we feel empowered to face our fears, to move forward and to keep trying. Who gives us this strength? 


Who makes day follow night? Every single night?


When you go to sleep at night, you know without a shadow of doubt that when you wake up in the morning, it will be day. It may be dark, rainy and gloomy some days, but it will be a new day. A chance to start fresh, to leave yesterday behind you and to try again, to correct yesterdays errors and to make today better. You never doubted that morning will come again. 

Perhaps you can instill that same rock-solid faith in your heart, knowing, really knowing, that after the dark time there will be light. That Hashem will send a yeshuah, that He will help you through your challenges and instill strength and willpower to keep going, to keep trying...and He will make things better for you. That it will not stay dark forever.

And just like the chashmonaim found a teeny jug of oil that kept the light of the menorah burning for eight days, may whatever little light you have to hold on to keep you going, keep your inner flame burning and may you see miracles in your own life and in the lives of those around you.

A gutten Chodesh!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kabballos and Segulos

While my (husband's) grandfather was sick, I took something really small upon myself as a zechus for his refuah shelaima. The situation did not look good and from a medical standpoint there was nothing left to do. The doctors gave him six months to a year to live and all that was left to do was to pray. And pray we did. 

Kabballos. It's an interesting thing. Why do we take things upon ourselves as a zechus for ourselves or other people? Why do we do it?

I knew why I was doing it. Yes, I was doing it as a zechus for my grandfather's refuah...so that he should get better and outlive the doctors prediction. But what would happen if that was not meant to be? What if Hashem had other plans?

When we take something upon ourselves for a specific reason, as a zechus for a specific thing and then we do not get what we wanted, we are in big danger. We are playing around with something very serious-our emunah in Hashem.

Do we believe that when we do something good and ask Hashem for something in return, he will definitely give it to us? If He does not give it to us-be it acceptance into a specific school, camp or seminary, the job or shidduch we want within the time frame that we ask for it, or a yeshuah in a personal matter-will we stop believing in Him or in the power of our good deeds?

That can be very dangerous. 

We don't understand Hashem's ways. We don't understand why He says yes sometimes and no at other times. Why is it that sometimes when someone does a segulah (warning: hazardous word!) or a specific good deed as a zechus for something they want, does it sometimes work and sometimes it does not?


First, it is not meant to "work". This is not a business deal. Hashem does not operate the way a vending machine operates. Put in a coin, press a button and get what you want. 

Is that what we are here for? To try to manipulate Hashem into giving us whatever we desire?

Of course not.

We are here to work on ourselves. To become better, more giving, caring people. People who follow the Torah, do the mitzvos and keep the halachos we are meant to keep. 

So when we take something upon ourselves, we need to remember WHY we are doing it. We are saying more tehillim so we can connect to Hashem more. We are giving tzeddakah so we can become more caring, sensitive and benevolent people. We learn more halachos so we can start to keep them. We say brachos properly and slowly so we can increase our appreciation to Hashem for the good that He gives us. 

If Hashem chooses to give us more good after we did something extra, kol hakavod. That's wonderful. But that's not why we should be taking these good things upon ourselves. That shouldn't be the goal.

Why not?

Because what happens when we do not get it? What happens when Hashem has other plans? 

We loose faith in the whole system. The system that we set up for ourselves that is not real, that is not true.

I'm sure there are people who can go on and on with stories of tried and true segulos...things that they say "worked". And guess what? For all those stories, I am sure that there are stories of segulos-those same ones-that people did...and did not "work". I know plenty of them. For whatever reason, Hashem did not send that yeshuah, did not send that shidduch, give that couple a child, cure that sick person...and either it had to wait or it didn't happen at all.

My grandfather passed away on Friday. 

When I took that teeny thing upon myself, something I knew was doable yet would take work and constant concentration and focus on my part, I don't think I thought about the end result. If he would make it or not. I just wanted his life to be prolonged, for him not to feel pain...for him to be healed. I knew I was asking for a miracle. And I knew that Hashem could do anything. 

But...now that it's over, will I stop? Will I be angry at Hashem for not giving me what I wanted? Do I have any regrets for taking something not-so-easy upon myself?

No way.

And I will continue doing what I've been doing. I will not stop. It will be a zechus for his neshama to go higher...and it will also have an affect on me. I will become a little different by keeping at it. 

If this kabballah helps me be different, follow one halacha the way it was meant to be done, increase my awareness of Hashem in my life in just a small way, it was worth it. I have no regrets for doing something and not getting what I wanted. Of course, I wish he would be healed, I wish my grandfather could come back to life and we'd have more time to spend together...but that part is in Hashem's hands. 

I needed to do mine. 

And I did.

Without expectations.

And I will not stop.

Hashem gives, Hashem takes...yehi sheim Hashem mevorach. May Hashem's name be blessed. 

May this post be a zechus for the neshama of David ben Aharon a"h to go higher. May you continue to look down at us with pride and may the mitzvos we do every day elevate your soul.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today-Yud Aleph Cheshvan

I posted the following thought in the past, but I want to share it with you again and add a little more to it this time.

Today, Yud Aleph Cheshvan is Rachel Imeinu's yartzeit. It is a very powerful day, a day when our tefillos can be accepted on a deeper level.
I remember learning the following in 10th grade from my teacher, Reb. Slomowitz…(b’shem omro, I hope it brings the geulah real quick because we really need it!)

When we speak about Rachel Imeinu, we say, “Kol B’ramah nishma…Rachel mivaka al baneha ki eineinu…” a voice is heard on high…Rachel is crying about her children…

The word mivaka seems to be grammatically incorrect. The definition of mivaka is to cause someone else to cry. The question is, why do we use this term for cry? If Rachel is crying for us on high, (as we know that Hashem says that her tears are going to bring the geula, not the tears of any of the avos) why is the term "causing to cry" used?! It should probably say, Rachel boche, Rachel "is crying" because she is constantly crying for us to come out of galus!

The answer is, that Rachel Imeinu is crying because we Jews are not crying! She is trying to get us to cry out of the pain of galus because we seem to forget where we are. Hashem puts us through so much pain and suffering in galus and our job is to cry out to Him and BEG Him to take us out! But instead, we try to ignore the pain we are in and try to run away from it by using all sorts of escapes and distractions. We forget that we are in galus by making ourselves comfortable here. We try to enjoy life to the fullest instead of remembering that we are supposed to be davening to come out. What we have to do now is cry out to Hashem and beg and plead for Him to take us out!

I realized today...how often do we think about this? How often does the fact that we are in galus cross our mind?

Not too often, probably.

We cry out to Hashem to help us deal with our personal problems, we ask Him to bring yeshuos, refuos, give parnassah and bless us with peace and happiness. But do we remember to ask Him to redeem us?

So today, let's take a minute to think about it, really think about it. 

And daven. And ask. 

Rachel is trying to get us to cry, to feel uncomfortable in galus. If you've ever been at her kever, you will experience yourself what it means to see people come there and cry out to their mother-as if she is their real mother. People daven, beg and plead for their personal yeshuah to come. They cry on her kever as if it is their mother's shoulder. I've seen it. I've done it too. It is a special feeling...a feeling of close connection and love and...something that's hard to describe in words. To come out of there feeling as if you unburdened yourself and left a part of you with Someone who heard is incredible. 

Although we cannot be there today, let's take the message of this day into our hearts and daven to Hashem to take us out of this galus.

It's time...don't you think?!

One day-hopefully soon-Hashem will tell Rachel Imeinu, “Minee koleich m’bechee v’einayich midim’ah,” Rachel, you can stop crying, because “v’shavu banim ligevulam,” Bnei Yisroel will return to their boundaries!

May we all have the zechus to see these very words come true!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Special Moments

My friend, R.P. wrote this after she went to a simchas beis hasho'eiva and gave me permission to post it here. Can you relate to this? Has it ever happened to you?

Sometimes I feel a real deep inner feeling
Deep inside me
That is fulfilling
And I wonder about it
And I realize
That it's moments of real deep inner connection with you, Hashem
It's feelings of a complete sense of inner happiness and peace
It's sparks of true inspiration that you send throughout my life
It's the peak of what I can reach and live up to
But it's only a few moments long
And as soon as it's gone,
The desire grows stronger,
And I want it back,
But I know the work is up to me,
To take those precious moments
And try as much as I can to reach that peak of what I felt
And to make it a part of me,
To be everlasting.
Those moments also help me continue and move on, when it's becomes hard
When you feel so far away
And I remember about them
And it becomes easier for me
Those moments are a special gift from you, Hashem.
I just want to thank you for them.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

So Lucky

I love our nation. I am so lucky to be part of the Jewish People. I know it good and well but there are times that I feel it.

Yesterday was one of those times.

I was waiting quite a long time for a bus and my baby was getting antsy. After a few minutes of kvetching to come out, I took him out of the stroller.

"Cuppa." He was thirsty. His sippy cup was empty. He got mad.
And he started to cry.
I had no time to go buy another water bottle for him because the bus showed up just then.

(First moment)
I was holding my cranky baby in one hand and wheeling the stroller towards the bus with the other when a girl came over, held onto the bottom of  the stroller and helped me onto the bus. No questions asked, of course! This is what Jewish people do! 

I couldn't pay the driver with my screaming baby in my arms. I wheeled the stroller to the back of the bus while struggling to calm him down. One woman held the stroller in place so it shouldn't roll away. When another woman saw me holding the money but unable to get to the front to pay the driver, she offered to do it for me. And she did. (That's moment number two and three.)

A few minutes later, my baby still yelling (and kicking :)) and refusing to sit in his stroller or on a seat, a mother offered to give him a bag of chips. (moment number four.)
I thanked her but explained that he just had a whole bag of chips while we were waiting for the bus. Now he was thirsty but there was no more water left in his sippy cup.

Within seconds, another woman reached into her bag and pulled out a new water bottle and gave it to me. She refused to let me pay for it. (moment number five.)
As soon as my son saw the water bottle, he started to calm down. I opened it, poured some water into his sippy cup and the bus was completely quiet...all eyes were on my baby drinking with such intensity. He was thirsty.

The bus got to my stop but my baby was still not strapped into his stroller. I didn't have to blink before a young girl stepped in front of me and helped me off the bus. After all, this is what is done. There was no need for me to ask anyone for help! (moment number six.

Thank you, all the mothers and girls on the bus who showed their care and concern for another Jewish woman, another little crying baby. I doubt you'll be reading this, but I do want to thank you from the bottom of my bursting heart-bursting with pride to be part of a nation like ours. 

Thank you, Hashem, for giving us the Torah that teaches us how to treat others with such love.

I feel so lucky. So lucky to be part of a nation that instills good middos and ahavas chinam into the hearts of their young children...children who grow up to be caring mothers, not just caring about their own children, but caring about all of Hashem's children.

May the zechus of the ahavas chinam displayed and the incredible "Mi K'amcha Yisroel" feeling I experienced yesterday bring so much bracha and gezeiros tovos onto our special nation. May we be able to unite in ways like these-doing chessed for one another throughout the year.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

After Succos

Succos-it’s over
It passed
But it shouldn’t really be over
It should be something that passes us by
It should be something
Something we internalize
Something we grow from
So many special days
So many days of connection
Of family time
Of shul time (for some)
Of home time (for others)
Of taking care of kids (for me!)
Of enjoying our families

But somewhere in middle of those days
Did some inspiration creep in?
Are we closer to Hashem now?
Did we learn to rely on Him more
Did the sukkah teach us
Just how dependent we are on Him?
Did we breathe in the cool (warm) air
While we were outside?
And let the emunah seep into our bones
While we felt the wind blowing softly?
While we felt the sun shining down on us?
Felt Hashem’s love
Felt Him taking care of us?

Did we let the hashpa’os of succos
Enter our souls?
Are we more connected now?
Are we more aware now?
Of how much He does for us?
How much we need Him in our lives?
Of how we want to be better?
Different, maybe?

So many days
Yamim Nora’im
Awesome days
Days of closeness-perhaps
Days of connection-hopefully
Days of introspection-sometimes
Busy days-for sure
What do we come out with
When we are done?

There’s a lot more to Simchas Torah
Than dancing just for fun
(Or watching the men run
Round and round
Clapping to the happy sounds)
Torah-it’s our life
It’s the way we want to live
It’s the goals we aspire to
And so, so much more
(No way to fit it here
That’s for sure!)

Watching people who immerse themselves
In our holy books
Their faces look
So happy
So shining
So joyful
That living a life of Torah
Following our Torah
Brings so much joy
(And sometimes pain)
Yet there’s so much to gain
When we follow the right way.

May we all be able to
These messages
Grow from these days
Instead of just letting these days pass
Like a thing of the past

We made it through
Yes we did it-
Three 3-day yomim tovim
It may have been tough
We may have thought-enough!
Enough food
Enough noise
Enough messes
Enough toys

There is something special to take
From these days
And if we take something special
For ourselves
In our hearts
From these days
We will know
We did
What we were supposed to
We grew
And that’s what we’re here for.
Every day.
At every moment in our lives.
May this year be filled
With many opportunities for growth.

Keep climbing!