To all of my friends who are always telling me that I should have a weekly column, this article is for you. The truth is, I love to write and would love to have a weekly column (I do have protekzia [influence] with this newspaper), but I have to be inspired. I am not one of those prolific writers who sit down at the computer and the words just flow. But once those inspirational juices get started, there is no telling where they will take me.
June has always been my favorite month. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I was born in June. It is also the month that leads to summer and I am one of those people who always looks forward to summer, even though it no longer automatically means vacation/fun time. Years ago when I was in high school, Regents exams often came out on my birthday, but I never let it spoil my enthusiasm for the month and surely not for “my day.”
My birthday this year is a milestone one and I am very thankful to Hashem that I have reached this age. When my husband was alive he would always wish me a Happy Bloomsday, mentioned in the novel by James Joyce, whose characters Molly and Leopold Bloom toured Dublin on June 16. June 16th forever after became Bloomsday.
My sister Hindy was also born in June, and my son Dovid was born on my sister’s birthday, albeit 20 years later. Granddaughter Esti has is a June birthday and I told her that she was my birthday present 14 years ago, as was granddaughter Tamar, 19 years ago.
June is the month of graduations and this June that same Esti is graduating elementary school, and my grandchildren, Eyal, Daniel and Avigayil are graduating high school. My granddaughter Shira Fuchs Hirtz graduated Nursing school, giving us another nurse in the family.
I can still remember the excitement at graduation time and the wonder of the unknown as we began the next phase of our lives. It was both sweet and a little sad as we said goodbye to our teachers and some of our friends.
Graduation from high school in Israel is a very different affair than it is in other countries. My grandson Eyal Schwartz will be starting Hesder Yeshiva on Rosh Chodesh Elul. Hesder is the Israeli army program where a young man commits to 5 years of joint yeshiva learning and army service. And granddaughter Avigayil Schwartz will be starting her year of Sherut Leumi, national service.
This June brought me to Israel for the bar mitzvah of grandson Elan Mauer. Elan read the whole Parsha and Haftorah and gave a lot of nachas to all of us: me, his parents, Tzvi and Shana Mauer, and his other grandparents, Dr. Jack and Tammy Rosenblatt. But it was the first bar mitzvah without my husband Ivan and his loss was keenly felt throughout the festivities.
I will also be attending the bat mitzvah of granddaughter Gail Harrison in California this month ,and then culminating the simchasfor me is the forthcoming wedding at the end of June of my granddaughter Rachayli Fuchs to Shaul Klein. I feel like my cup runneth over, as King David said in Psalms.
As of this writing I am still in Israel. It is the best place on earth to give thanks to Hashem for all of the chesed He has shown me. I look out of my window each morning as I get to the part in Shemonah Esrei where it says Boneh Yerushalayim, and I look out at the cranes and the building, and see every word of the prayer taking place right before my eyes.
It is also a good place to give tzedakah, and the needy that surround one in different parts of Jerusalem, make it easy to do so. I know some people get annoyed by the many people standing near the Kotel with their hands out, but I actually appreciate their presence as I hand them some money.