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September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
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From Russia With – Unconditional – Love


A parent deciding she doesn’t want the child she adopted from another country is on some level no different from a mother who gives birth to a child and later blames God for not having warned her the child would have problems or issues.

Finally, there is a great lesson to be learned from this story. Kol Yisrael areivim zeh l’zeh – every Jew is responsible for and to every other Jew. When a Jewish man goes out in public wearing a kippah and a Jewish woman goes out dressed in a manner bespeaking tzniut (modesty), they represent not only themselves but every Jew in the world. When they do something wrong it’s not Shlomo or Miriam So-and-So, it’s “that Jew.” It may not be fair or nice, but it’s reality.

This woman went to Russia to adopt a child and then decided to return him. In every step she took she represented all Americans. When people ask me if I know the story or how I feel about it, they never mention the woman by name. Nobody cares what her name is – all they care about is that she’s an American.

Yes, one person and one experience can make such a tremendous difference. Knowing this should inspire each of us to strive to make a positive difference – for the sake of others and for how we are perceived by those around us.

Jodie Maoz resides in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

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