web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


From Darkness To Light

Lessons-logo

Aseres Yemei Teshuvah.

The mere mention of these three potent words invariably strikes fear into the hearts and souls of God-fearing Jews everywhere. Each weekday morning, the piercing cry of the shofar penetrates our collective consciousness and urges us to mend our ways, repent our transgressions and return wholeheartedly to our Father in Heaven.

For me, all of the above ring true every year – without fail. However, there is inevitably another stark image that is conjured up as well whenever I hear those three awe-inspiring words. They take me back 30 years to a very pivotal and grueling 10-day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, one that will no doubt remain ingrained in my memory forever.

Baruch Hashem, I had been happily married for a few years and was the mother of an adorable toddler. We were living in Eretz Yisrael and, despite the challenges of being thousands of miles from family and friends, we felt very blessed indeed. Our bechor was quite a handful, but charming and endearing at the same time. In short, all was well in the world.

Well, almost. Only one recurring concern marred our otherwise blissful existence and threatened to inject an insidious undercurrent of discontent into the perfect pattern of our daily lives: Despite our fervent desire for more children, our son remained an only child.

Following month after month and year after year of disappointment, my pregnancy test yielded a positive result at long last. We were going to be parents once again! Our joy knew no bounds. Alas, it was pitifully short-lived. Almost immediately after receiving the results, complications set in, and my OB/GYN decided that I had to be hospitalized in the interim so that my condition could be monitored on a daily basis.

That is how I ended up spending the solemn period of Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, embarking on a life-altering journey – although I was physically ensconced in a hospital bed in the maternity ward of a Jerusalem hospital. In retrospect, it was definitely the “Ten Days of Teshuvah” that most epitomized the title and function of those holy days.

I was confined to bed for the entire time, allowed to rise only to shower and use the facilities. Other than during daily visits from my husband and son, and occasionally from other relatives, I spent virtually all my waking hours with a book in my hands – most often a siddur or Sefer Tehillim. And I davened with every fiber of my being, with tears rolling down my cheeks and genuine love and devotion in every word I uttered. Never before or since have I felt the awe and sanctity of those days in such a literal sense. It was an opportunity for the most exalted form of closeness and cleansing; I poured my entire neshamah into every word of every tefillah. And I felt Hashem’s presence so distinctly, a literal manifestation of “Shivisi Hashem l’negdi tamid.”

I have retained a few isolated, albeit crystal-clear, memories from those long-ago days. Most vivid among them was when our beloved aunt arrived one day wearing sunglasses to hide her unbridled emotions as she shared with me her own painful experiences from decades earlier. Then there was the anonymous roommate, experiencing her own pregnancy-related issues, who became a dear friend and confidante for decades after we bid farewell to those stark hospital corridors.

After the prescribed week and a half, it was all over. The 10 days had come to an end and almost immediately I was granted my reply. Sadly, it was not the response I was hoping for, not the reward I had envisioned. At the same time, I felt totally secure in the knowledge that this painful and unhappy outcome had come directly from the One Above. I knew that my tefillos and bakashos had been as sincere as humanly possible and had transformed me in the course of a mere week and a half to a better, more refined version of my previous self. I was likewise certain that it was not even remotely coincidental that my personal nisayon coincided precisely with the holiest days of the Jewish calendar.

While I was pained and disappointed that the child I dreamt for was no more, I exulted in the new improved me that had emerged as a result of my struggles. My arms remained achingly empty for now, but my heart and soul were full to overflowing with love and gratitude to my Creator and Judge.

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 “From Darkness To Light”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.
Netanyahu Visits Western Wall before Leaving for US
Latest Judaism Stories
Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Winiarz-022715-Kids

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

In holy places it’s important to maintain a level of silence permitting people to dialogue with God

Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.

More Articles from Naama Klein
Lessons-022715

Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.

Lessons-in-Emunah-new

When I pulled up at their house, my worst fears were confirmed.

So why was she forever unceremoniously dumping them in the library after the long school day was over and virtually all the other students and staff members had already gone home?

Surprisingly, my husband and one son arrived home over half-an-hour earlier than usual. I excitedly shared my perfect-timing story, but my better half one upped me easily.

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

The answers, though, were out there, waiting patiently and shimmering in the distance until the One with all the answers decided to enlighten us.

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

Our son-in-law e-mailed tickets for us to print out and bring along to allow us admittance. Simple enough.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/from-darkness-to-light/2013/08/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: