Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To See the Silence


The Silence That Speaks

During Shavuos, just before the Torah reading, Sephardi Jews read a marriage contract between G-d and the people.  It really is a marriage contract, a ketubah, and it was written in the sixteenth century by Israel Najara:

On the sixth day of the third month, the Invisible One came forth from Sinai.  The bridegroom, ruler of rulers, prince of princes, said to his beloved (the people) who is beautiful as the moon, as radiant as the sun, as awesome as an army with great banners, "Many days you will be mine and I will be your redeemer.  I will honor, support, and maintain you.  I will be your shelter and refuge in eternal mercy.  I will give you the Torah by which you and your children will live in health and peace and harmony."  

The bridegroom delivered the Torah that is bigger than the earth and broader than the seas.  The bride consented to the covenant and an everlasting agreement was made.  As a dowry, the bride brought a heart that understands, ears that listen, and eyes that see. 

"May the Bridegroom rejoice with the Bride and the bride rejoice with the husband of her youth, while uttering words of praise."  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Needs First...


Wants May Follow...

For better or for worse my teenage son, my young man, knows how to cook.  Not just cooking, but the "ganze megillah"*.  This includes planning the meal (for example, what's the protein, what's the soluble fiber, leafy greens cooked and/or raw, and a carbohydrate with low glycemic index); building the grocery list; doing the shopping; putting away the groceries; preparing the ingredients; and then cooking each dish.  

He sets the table and serves the meal.  At the end of the eating he puts away the leftovers, clears and cleans the table, clears and cleans the kitchen, and then moves on to something called "Command and Conquer Red Alert 3".  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Matchmaker, Matchmaker


A Mensch is a Mensch

"Anna, you have an appointment with the Kollel ladies this Tuesday," Alizah said to me.  

"Thank you.  What is this all about?"  I asked.

"They are starting a new matchmaking service.  They want to connect with other like groups all over the country and all over the globe.  I've told you before, you'll never know what they have to offer unless you check them out."  Alizah, my childhood friend, has been trying to find me a husband for years.  And I have had some interesting adventures thanks to her arrangements.  

"If my experience serves me well, I do believe that they will check me out.  Okay, I'll go.  What time?" 

Alizah smiles, "two o'clock in the afternoon.  Their office is across the street from our favorite pizza place."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Into the Lions' Den


Puellam Meam magis quam oculos meos amo*. 

There are those who say that it takes courage to be a cancer patient.  I don't know... I don't think so necessarily.  It does take something.  It takes the same something that life in general demands of us all.  Perhaps the "something-list" of essential attributes would include understanding, cooperation, hard work, fortitude, endurance, partnership, love of life, and FAITH.  I did not choose the challenges of this path.  Do any of us choose to be born?   But it was the path I was travelling.  Something had seemed wrong for quite a while, so, when the diagnosis of cancer arrived I did experience a sense of relief.  Thank G-d, I am not crazy.  I did not, however, feel full of courage.  

Who are the people who are filled with courage?  Those folks who walk into the lions' den knowing their destination and its dangers are certainly courageous.   Don't you think?