web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

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



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

Bubby’s Defenders

Dear Rachel,

After reading the comments regarding the great-grandma’s “not-so-illustrious golden years” (Chronicles, Oct. 18), I feel I must weigh in with my own personal viewpoint. And I mean that literally – for you see, I am the neighbor who helped the elderly almanah with her letter (Chronicles, Oct. 4).

Please allow me to first address your original response. You cited the probable reactions of seniors languishing in nursing homes who never hear from their children, or the childless who you imagine would consider themselves lucky to be in this lady’s shoes. As accurate as your hypothesis may be, in reality it does nothing to diminish this woman’s pain.

Some of the well-intentioned readers who subsequently commented fail to appreciate the utter despair and hopelessness of this elderly widow who suffers from the ravages of old age, among a host of other health issues. She is grateful for her sound mind, but the frustration of her physical incapacitation can be emotionally draining. Relying on others for even the most mundane of chores is particularly hard for the independent-minded type.

Yes, her children call her daily, and she has often expressed her gratitude for their caring, even admitting there is not much more they can do for her. But there are still all those hours of the day and night when frustration and loneliness eat at her.

Anyone who would meet this woman would instantly recognize her elegant bearing (despite her now-stooped posture) and her intelligence. Yes, she is bitter at times, but that’s understandable considering her circumstances and the infrequent calls and visits she receives, especially from her own grandchildren. I’m sure they are very busy with their own lives, but aren’t we all? And while everyone seems to be running around seeking to do chesed for all sorts of organizations, the opportunity that is within reach in one’s own backyard is too often sadly ignored.

My message to those who are blessed with the ability to move freely about and are not reliant on anyone else for their basic needs – yet find it easy to tell this poor woman to get over it: Pray to Hashem to give you strength in your old age and to keep you healthy and sound in body and mind.

A concerned neighbor

Dear Concerned,

Kudos to you for taking the time to look in on your elderly neighbor and offering her succor in her time of need. Of course you are both profiting – she from your kindness, and you from performing it.

Dear Rachel,

Regarding the letter signed, “The Golden Years are Not So Golden,” my first reaction, like others in the follow-up column, was that this lady is bitter, possibly depressed, and therefore seemingly quite unlikable. So it’s no wonder she is not getting the attention and love she desires. I can well imagine myself wanting to avoid such a family member.

However, this past Friday afternoon found me impatiently standing on line at the post office. Everyone knows to avoid the post office on Friday afternoons; it is known for its long lines, but this week I had no choice.

A sweet old lady in front of me was clutching just one small stamped envelope, a response card. She beamed with pride as she showed it to me, marveling at the beautiful return stamp. The stamp was purple and was custom designed to say “Bat Mitzvah” and she proudly told me that the stamp on the invitation had a picture of the bat mitzvah girl, her granddaughter.

Before long it was her turn to go to the window. In a dignified manner she proclaimed to the postmaster that she brought the letter to the window to make sure it gets on the first truck out so that hers could be the first response her granddaughter receives. As soon as he reassured her, she left.

Upon reflecting on the responses to your earlier article and pondering over the incident at the post office, I couldn’t help but wonder about this upcoming bat mitzvah celebration.

Will Bubby be relishing and delighting in her granddaughter’s simcha? Will she get to dance with her? Will her family fuss over her and give her loving attention? Or will she be placed at a table away from the noise and forgotten about?

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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 “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
rocket in a field near Kibbutz Mefalsim
Heaven on Earth (With Rockets)
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

    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/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-274/2013/11/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: