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Posts Tagged ‘Torah’

I was running an errand and encountered a nice red flower.

I decided recently on a career change. I need something less intense (right now) than doing intense psychotherapy with girls with eating disorders. I know a lot of people have said to me, “Wow. That is such an interesting field”, or “Your job has such meaning.” And I do admit that it was fulfilling, but also gut-wrenching. It’s just hard to be an Imma and worry about your clients and your children at the same time. The lines get very blurry and since we just moved, I am taking a natural break. I need some space to think about it. For now, I decided I would like to do something intellectually stimulating but less emotionally draining.

And then came the idea of social media marketing. (more…)

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Molnár József: Ábrahám kiköltözése

Abraham's Journey from Ur to Canaan 1850

I have to give a shout out to my insightful husband Rafi, for the spark that contributed to this post. We were discussing my son’s former pre-school teacher and her talent for organizing and teaching a mixed-age class of 3-5 year-olds. She was so successful that my 3 year-old son came home talking about Vincent Van Gough and Marc Chagall. (more…)

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Torah inside of the former Glockengasse synago...

Image via Wikipedia

We were at our friends Steven and Ariella and this vort came from him (through Rafi…)

A Childlike Simplicity of Shmini Atzeret

Shmini Atzeret is the 8th day after Sukkot. It’s unlike the 7 first days in that we don’t sit in Sukkot, nor do we do any of the commandments associated with Sukkot- like taking the lulav and etrog. In the beit ha’mikdash it was also different- all the days of Sukkot had many sacrifices, alluding to including all the nations in our celebration, but the 8th day was just for B’nei Yisrael- we only have one of each sacrifice, representing the intimate relationship between B’nei Yisrael and Hashem.

It’s easier to relate to Shmini Atzeret in chu”l than in Israel. If the idea of Shmini Atzeret (literally: stopping on the 8th day) is to have one day at the end of the holiday season to just spend with Hashem, then doesn’t the Simchat Torah part kind of interfere with that? In chul they have one day of Shmini Atzeret and one day of Simchat Torah. Makes much more sense- each day is separate with a different idea. But if you think about it, Shmini Atzeret is a simple day. No mitzvot like sukkah and lulav. Barely any korbanot- only one of each kind, in contrast to Sukkot. It’s simple, just us and Hashem. (more…)

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At times it’s tough living here. Both in Israel and in this neighborhood. But I always think that just at those moments of despair, I am clearly reminded of why I’m here. Obviously there are many reasons a person chooses to live here in Israel- some are personal and some are ideological. Today I had an “AHA!” moment on my porch.

As we were playing in the living room, we heard this music coming from outside. As it louder and louder we began to see swarms of people walking in parade form outside our building! This sometimes happens in this neighborhood, as there are many synagogues here- it was a hachnassat sefer torah (or here). We all gathered to watch everyone dance by our house with the Torah under the chuppa and I started to think what a beautiful moment this is. This just doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.

Hachnasat Sefer Torah on Reiness St. Kiryat Moshe/Givat Shaul Jerusalem

Hachnasat Sefer Torah on Reiness St. Kiryat Moshe/Givat Shaul Jerusalem

I just felt bad for the guy stuck in his car trying to get out.

He's stuck in the front seat...poor guy!

He's stuck in the front seat...poor guy!

And of course, the seriousness of the moment was broken by the concentration of loonies on the roof accross the street. We had to explain to Mr. G that they were being very naughty and we do not EVER climb on rooftops. I guess their Imas didn’t warn them.

To give you perspective

To give you perspective

Closer up

Closer up

I had another moment yesterday on the drive to gan. Traffic stalled for a minute at the light and we were at the front so we could see that there was a blind person crossing the street.  But what happened next was just astounding. There was a whole line of cars making a left turn in the direction of the blind man. The cars were being led by a motorcycle (they always want to go first). The motorcyclist got off his motorcycle and stopped traffic until the man got to the other side.

There were two more lights to cross before he fully made it to the other side. So when he put out his stick to cross the second street, a man got out of his van and walked him accross the street. When he made it to the other side, the light had already turned green, but there was no honking (never happens here!) and he got back into his van and drove away.

We were still waiting at the light and I was wondering how this man was going to make it accross the third and final light (yes, I could have gone out to help him, but the image of a 9 month pregnant lady running to help a blind person accross the street- not so pretty somehow- anyway, it was too far from the car). As soon as the man got to the final light, I saw another man run up to him and lead him accross the street. It was such a moving minute of waiting- such chessed!

That day I had an initial meeting for a program in Jerusalem that I’ll be working at next year as one of their social workers. In the introductory remarks, the program director mentioned a Midrash from Noach. He said that when Noach was on the ship, he was occupied all day and night with feeding the animals. One day he was late in feeding the lion and he got injured to the point where he was limping for the rest of his life. The question is why, if Noach was going to be the leader of Am Yisrael- the seed from which the whole nation came from, why he was feeding the animals all day? Shouldn’t he have been sitting and learning Torah? Davening? This is where the midrash says, “Olam chessed  yibaneh.” The foundation of the world is chessed (charity). I really saw this in my neighborhood and I hope I can implement it in my own life.

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Proud of my new tzitzit

This morning I peeked into G’s window at gan for an extra few seconds. He looked so big to me with his new pair of tzitzit. You see, this month he’s undergone some major transformations. We cut his hair, he wears his new Thomas and friends kippa, and now he wears tzitzit- that was today’s addition. He is now officially a little boy. Not that little baby that I held all night the first night home from the hospital. Not the little boy who began crawling towards a pair of keys when his Savta decided he needed to learn already. And not the toddler that began walking erev shavuot to his Aunt Adena. He’s a little boy now. He looks out for his sister, he loves reading and building tracks for his trains. He loves helping out around the house and pretending to be riding all sorts of large vehicles (today it was a BIG TRUCK- he built it out of all the couch pillows, his blanket, and the top of a rubbermaid box for the windshield). He can count to twenty, can speak two languages, can say sorry, please, and thank you, and knows that he is so so so loved by so many people.  What makes me all the more proud is that when he was putting on his tzitzit this morning and Rafi was explaining why we wear tzitzit (to think of Hashem and thank him for what he has given us), he says, “we say thank you to Hashem for food!” He’s getting it! We try so hard to say brachot and bench and you wonder what’s sinking in and now I know that this sense of gratitude is really there.

Gedalya, I love you and I’m so proud of you!

Love,

Ima

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