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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Chaim Ozer’

Mother Knows Best

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I am just a small-town girl whose aspirations never included the notion of traveling to exotic places. I dreamed of getting married, raising a family, and living near my parents and in-laws.

Well, as the popular Yiddish saying goes, man plans and Hashem laughs. As a young married woman, my husband and I lived in England during his tour of duty as an Air Force chaplain. Not an exotic location to be sure, and the dialects were similar. However, I spent a lot of time writing letters to loved ones (no faxes or e-mails in those days). I needed to connect with those near and dear to me. The loneliness was acute.

Upon our return to civilian life, we settled in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, where I had the privilege of raising our children in the neighborhood of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Chabad is synonymous with kiruv, reaching out to unaffiliated Jews. I love that concept. We believe that regardless of one’s religious background, it is our Yiddishe neshamah that unites all Jews.

As the children grew, so did their wonder at where they would go on shlichus (outreach) once they finished Beis Medrash or Seminary.

Personally, I was too enthralled with the miracle of being blessed with children to even think about the day that my children would leave the nest to venture to some far- off place. Frankly, I firmly pushed the possibility out of my mind.

The years passed, and my son, Chaim Ozer, decided to become a shaliach (emissary). It was hard for me to accept the reality that he would leave for a far-off destination. I expressed my feelings to him for the whole year preceding his assignment.

At that time, my mother was quite ill. I was visiting her in the hospital when we received a call from our son. He instructed us to call a particular rabbi to find out where he was being sent on shlichus. I should have realized at the time that it was strange that he could not divulge his assignment to us, but I was too concerned about my mother’s condition to think clearly.

The rabbi was very excited to inform me that Chaim Ozer was going to be sent to a certain country, one I had expressly forbidden. I was adamant. He would not go! I knew that the Rebbe would not agree to any assignment if the parents did not give their consent.

I informed the rosh hayeshiva that I had every confidence that he would find a more suitable destination for Chaim Ozer.

A few days later we learned that he would be going to Hungary. That was fine with me.

Chaim Ozer’s year of shlichus was very successful and he was asked to return the following year. He was only 20 years old at the time, but he had made a good impression on the young rabbi and rebbetzin there.

In fact, although it was too early for our son to consider marriage, they were convinced that Chaim Ozer was the perfect match for the young rebbetzin’s sister.

We knew nothing about this scenario, as it was put on the back burner for several years until the appropriate time.

It turned out to be a wonderful idea.

For the past few years, Chaim Ozer and Racheli have been on shlichus in Las Vegas, Nevada, raising a lovely family that includes little Raizy, who is named for my beloved mother.

It would seem that Hashem concurred that “mother knows best” after all!

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 10/06/06

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

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Dear Rachel,

On this past Mother’s Day, my thoughts were with all the agunahs and Single Moms who are raising their children while dealing with ex-husbands who have abandoned their own by not paying child support, yeshiva tuition and other financial needs of their children.

To these Moms everywhere: Bear in mind that our former marriages were not mistakes – they had a noble purpose: to bring precious neshamos into the world!

These children, Hashem’s miracles, have a virtuous mission in this world. And while it is tempting to resent our exes, we have at least, with Hashem’s help, had children from them. Even though it is a constant struggle to provide for their basic needs, let’s withhold the self-pity and view our offspring as a gift rather than a burden chas v’shalom.

Let the good moments our children provide us with wash over us: an A+ grade once in a while; a pretty picture made especially for you, Mom; the small gift they lovingly present you with; a kiss, a hug, a tender moment; a smile and the simple thank you in a show of sincere appreciation for something nice you’ve given or done for them.

These are the instances to focus on. And so, in reality, Every Day is Mother’s Day. Let us dwell on these priceless moments during frustrating times as Single Moms.

Also, to those of us who have lost our own Moms – instead of experiencing sadness, let’s recall all that our Moms have taught us and shared with us… that have made us the Moms we are today!

But, alas, I do have one message for the Ex Husbands/Deadbeat Dads: Remember when you once loved your wives enough to want to bring a child into the world? Why not work on vanquishing your ill feelings toward your ex, the mother of your child(ren)? Just think of the gift Hashem gave you in bestowing upon you the capacity to produce a child, to make this world a better place.

Help him/her achieve that special goal by living up to your responsibility. Follow the Ethics of Our Fathers (Pirkei Avos) that you learn every Shabbos afternoon during this season – by providing for your child’s needs. Don’t allow your loved ones to suffer for no reason!

A concerned and loving Single Mom

Dear Loving Single Mom,

Though your sensibly voiced sentiments arrived on the heels of the officially declared secular holiday of Mother’s Day, which has come and gone for this calendar year, this is as appropriate a time as any to take your poignant words to heart. For, Baruch Hashem, Mother’s Day for us is indeed every day. (At the top of the list of exalted mitzvos we are commanded to observe is the one that calls upon us to respect and honor our parents.)

Your letter also serves to remind us that in our society today single mothers who often fill the role of both mom and dad run many households. What better time than now (when we’ve turned a new page in the Book of Life and hope to have begun the new year with a clean slate) to remember the Single Mom and alleviate her loneliness by inviting her with her children to luxuriate in the warmth of our brightly lit sukkah, to share in the togetherness of our family seudah.

When a guest appeared at the home of a feeble and ailing R. Chaim Ozer on the holiday of Sukkos, the rebbe expressed his regrets at not being able to join his visitor in the sukkah. To the surprise of his guest, it wasn’t long before R. Chaim Ozer entered the sukkah, despite his earlier assertion.

The rebbe explained that though his debilitating physical state exempted him from the mitzvah of sukkah, he was not absolved of heeding the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim. And to properly fulfill the mitzvah, he was obliged to see to his visitor’s comfort and ample accommodation – making it necessary for him to access the sukkah.

How great is the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim! What a meritorious way to begin the New Year! How apropos to show our gratitude to Hashem by displaying the midos of concern, caring and compassion – precisely which we pray and hope for from Him! May our good deeds stand us in good stead.

A G’mar Tov and a happy Sukkos holiday to one and all!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-37/2006/10/04/

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