Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Friend in Need


In Gesture & Deed
The Hand of Comfort
And Guidance

To be alive commands and demands a commitment to action without interference from all of the meshugas (crazinesses and stupidities).  This devotion to action, to the things that MUST be done, without interference from our emotions, moods, and perceptions is possible.  If it were impossible, then the Slonimer rabbi of the late 19th century would never have suggested this advice to my zayde.  BUT, my grandfather's teacher did mention that it is not an easy pursuit.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A New World


The Place Where Prayers Are Born

Mommy, Mommy, look!  a train!

Mommy, oh, Mommy, a truck, over there!

Oh, Mommy, LOOK!

These were the sounds of my life when my son, my first child, was a toddler.   I heard a running commentary on the trucks, trains, cars, and planes that came past us every wakeful moment.  And then, one day, it stopped.  My son was almost four years old.  One day, then two days of silence, by the third day I was worried.  He did not seem ill, just quiet, too quiet. 

I spoke up, "you always told me when to look for the train and the train tracks.  You were always letting me know about the trucks on the road and the airplanes in the sky.  Now, you say nothing.  Are you okay?"

"Oh, Mommy," he said with his eyes opening big and wide, "I found this amazing place.  In order to hear everything, see everything, and experience everything there, I must be very quiet." 

"My guy," said I in relief, tremendous relief, "do you know what this place is?"  He shook his head.  "It is you," I continued, "it is your inner realm, your inner eye, inner ear, inner heart.  This is you.  This is where your prayers and dreams are born.  You found it!"  He smiled.  "Now I know why you are so quiet.  It's okay.  Please learn this place well.  It will help you through life."  Now we both smiled.  

Monday, February 13, 2012



To Heal Regrets

Shopping in the winter months is easy when the weather is challenging and most people have decided to stay home. 

I wished my sales-lady a healthy, blessed New Year.  Betsy replied that it was already dreadful. 

"No, no, no!  You're healthy, you have a job, it couldn't possibly be awful just weeks into January.  Every day is a beautiful gift!"  I told her that  I was a cancer patient-survivor. 

And she told me that her best friend  had called her cell phone during the after Christmas rush when everything was on sale.  She was too busy working to take a personal call.  She simply looked to see who called and it made her smile to see her friend's name, Lana.  Things were crazy busy at work.  She was distracted by everything so much so, that she forgot about the call. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Parashat Yitro of the Past


A Derashah
January 27, 1940
The Warsaw Ghetto

An inspiring man, Rabbi Kalmish Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, the rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto, was in hiding. 

"Blessed be the Name.  This Sabbath I was in hiding. 

...Israel's acceptance of the Torah took place in the desert.  This fact may suggest, among other things, a teaching found in the holy book, Bet Aharon, which states, "Don't say that in this place it is possible to serve G-d, but in that place it is impossible for me.  Rather, one must serve G-d in all places."