web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth

Living With Dorothy

            Suffice it to say that when I moved in with Dorothy, my friends were in shock.  Most of them were planning to live in the more popular Washington Heights, whereas I had decided to remain in midtown Manhattan.  Mostly, however, most of their astonishment was because I was 22, and Dorothy, or Mrs. Hilf, as I call her, was 95. 


 

Let me explain.  I met Mrs. Hilf through my good friend and college roommate Melissa.  Mrs. Hilf and Melissa were learning partners at Congregation Adereth El (in midtown Manhattan, near Stern), and Melissa thought I would enjoy meeting her.  She was right.  We hit it off right away, and I began visiting her weekly.  We usually planned to do some religious learning at our meetings, perhaps review the siddur or study the parshat hashavua, the weekly Torah portion, but more often than not, we just schmoozed. 

 

            After graduating from Stern College and receiving an invitation from Mrs. Hilf to share her one-bedroom apartment, I’ll admit I was hesitant to accept.  My mother urged me to say yes, while my good friends could not even imagine why I would consider the very generous offer.  (I did share the rent, but then again, we were rent controlled.) 

 

While I would be at a distance from my friends, there were significant advantages to the proposal, and I eventually decided to move in.  My boyfriend Moshe (now my husband) worked a block away, the commute to my graduate school was convenient, and I absolutely loved the bustle and convenience of New York City.

 

Mrs. Hilf and I talked about politics, literature, and life.  I confided in her about my personal life, and she, in turn, offered me sage advice.  After one particularly upsetting incident with Moshe, I recall coming home in a rage, ready to have it out with him and give him a piece of my mind.  Mrs. Hilf talked with me, calmed me down and told me, in a very matter-of-fact way, to get over it.  I have a hunch that if not for Mrs. Hilf soothing me, my relationship with Moshe would not be where it is today.

 

 


Dorothy Hilf and Little Leeba

 

 

Mrs. Hilf tells it like it is.  When I ask for her opinion, I know that I’ll get the unadulterated truth.  And I love that.  In a world where everyone is concerned with being politically correct, Mrs. Hilf prizes honesty and sincerity. 

 

But more than that, Mrs. Hilf taught me that age doesn’t matter.  She showed me that a positive attitude and a deep thankfulness for all we have are most important.  She is a paragon of what it means to be self-sufficient.  Now 102, may she live and be well, she lives alone, does her own marketing, emails her friends, and volunteers weekly at a soup kitchen.  She even hosts Sabbath meals in her apartment from time to time.  She appreciates when I stock her up on groceries and when Melissa delivers home-cooked meals, but she is always surprised.

 

Since getting married, I’ve made some new friends; they are not quite like Mrs. Hilf – they’re only in their eighties.  Before we moved to our current location, we lived down the hall from Mollie and Leah.  For five years we shared in each other’s joys and bonded over tragedies.  I borrowed onions and delivered chicken soup, and they played with my three-year-old daughter Leba and introduced her to the piano. 


 


My mother taught me that we can learn much from our seniors.  My mother visited the nursing home and made time to call on relatives and older friends who were ill.  For years, my mother had a study partner who was in his eighties.  To this day, she reads aloud her notes from those sessions and reminisces with fondness over the erudition he displayed and the thoughts he shared with her. 

 

I suppose growing up in a home with grandparents helped establish my love and respect for the older generation.  I miss them terribly now that they have passed on, and am sorry that I didn’t appreciate their presence even more.  They cared for me with so much love and, like Mrs. Hilf, never asked for anything in return. 

 

I continue to visit Mrs. Hilf most weeks, and try to bring Leba along with me when I can.  If I can instill within my daughter a respect and admiration for our elders, perhaps she too will look to those before us for guidance and love.  And when I see her greeting Mrs. Hilf with a hug and a kiss, I know we’re on the right track.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Living With Dorothy”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D)
BiPartisan U.S. Effort to Ensure Hamas Disarmed Before Ceasefire
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

IDF soldier injured in Gaza is evacuated by helicopter to Soroka hospital.

The residents of Gaza were not occupied by the Hamas; they voted for the terror organization in democratic elections, by a huge majority, by virtue of its uncompromising struggle against Israel. For this reason, the separation between the armed Hamas terrorists and those ‘not involved’ or ‘innocents’ is false. The Gazans are now paying for […]

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

More Articles from Chana Mayefsky
Mayefsky-030813

As new tech gadgets evolve and old ones slowly fade away, good manners never go out of style.

Mr. Stein (not his real name) saw his career hit a dead end three years ago when the market went sour. As a commercial real estate broker, he and his wife, Devora, then a student studying toward her degree in social work, knew something had to change quickly if they were to survive financially. Friends and family members had suggested they open their own business, but the Steins had no money to invest in the project. They had no credit and the money they borrowed from relatives went directly to day-to-day living.

That’s when they contacted the Emergency Parnossa Initiative (EPI) and the OU Job Board and began the process of transforming their lives.

Suffice it to say that when I moved in with Dorothy, my friends were in shock. Most of them were planning to live in the more popular Washington Heights, whereas I had decided to remain in midtown Manhattan. Mostly, however, most of their astonishment was because I was 22, and Dorothy, or Mrs. Hilf, as I call her, was 95.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/living-with-dorothy/2009/07/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: