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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Erev Pesach’

It’s Time For Superwoman And Super Caregiver To Retire (Part II)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

 (Names and situations altered for privacy)


 

Malky’s father-in-law had been in the hospital for months. Now, with Pesach approaching and his health improving, her in-laws would be joining Malky and her family for the holiday.  Malky knew it would mean more demands on her time, and she understood that being an on-site caregiver was not going to be easy.  But Malky loved her in-laws and wanted them with her for Pesach. 

 

In addition, Malky’s son, who lived in another state, was coming for Pesach with his wife and their seven children.  Another son, who lived a block away, decided that making Pesach this year would be too difficult for his newly pregnant wife.  So, they too would be moving in to Malky’s home.  She wasn’t quite sure how she would manage, but she smiled and told them how nice it would be for everyone to be together. Malky knew how much her in-laws would enjoy having them all together at the Seder.

 

Ruchi’s husband was scheduled to be in the hospital the weekend before Pesach, for some routine tests to measure the progression of his chronic illness.  With the hospital being too far a distance to walk on Shabbos, Ruchi and her husband had made peace with him being alone. In fact, for Ruchi the timing couldn’t have been better. Exhausted from Pesach preparations, she was looking forward to spending Shabbos in bed, free from care giving chores.

 

However, Ruchi’s children were concerned that their mother was going to be alone all Shabbos, so they decided to come Erev Shabbos instead of Erev Pesach. Ruchi laughed half-heartedly as her dream of sleeping all day was replaced with preparing for her large family for Shabbos as well as Pesach.

 

When Brocha’s in-town children announced that they too where moving in to her house for Pesach, along with the out-of-towners, Brocha thought she would faint. It was true that her chronically ill husband had been stable recently and she had planned to have the local children over for meals, but now where would everyone sleep and how would she manage to get through the yom tov with the never-ending tumult of so many people in her house. The thought of everyone together made her smile.  She would love to have everyone for the entire yom tov. She loved the fact that they all wanted to come home, but sadly she also knew that it was something she couldn’t handle at this point in her life.

 

And so, unlike Malky and Ruchi she explained to her ‘in-town’ children that as much as she would love it, it was just too hard for her to do this right now and she’d have to say no. Initially shocked, Brocha’s children became frightened. Their mother had never said anything was “too difficult” for her to do.

 

However, slowly, they began to realize that their expectations in regard to their mother were unrealistic. Since their mother always did whatever they asked of her as if it was her joy, and never a problem for her, they had never thought about all the work or expenses involved, or whether or not she was really able to do it.  They just assumed she was, because she had never given them a reason to think differently.

 

Now, she was aging and the burden of care giving was taking its toll, but she had never let them know, until now. As a result of her finally saying no, her children began to rethink their expectations.

 

Not only did her in-town children not move in, they made their home ready for Pesach and invited everyone over for one of the meals. For the first time they even offered to help with the cooking.  Brocha told me that just having her daughter-in-law make the chicken soup for yom tov made a huge difference. It was one less thing to think about, but more importantly it made her feel cared about and loved in a way she hadn’t experienced before. She also told me that by finally telling her children “it was too hard,” prompted everyone to get up and help serve without her asking. They even insisted that she sit while they served since she had done all the cooking.

 

It is somewhat ironic that as we age and can do less, our families grow and we are expected to do more. Giving our children a realistic picture of our decreasing capabilities instead of pretending that we are still superwomen, invites our families to see us more appropriately. It gives them the opportunity to take on more family responsibility if they choose and grow into the adults we have always wanted them to be.

 

More on this topic next week


You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 5/08/09

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Dear Rachel,

I was really taken by the series on “Esther” and want to thank you for sharing the extended fascinating story with your readers. Her experience, as she herself had indicated, has much to impart. But perhaps as her story took on momentum, the primary lesson that first sparked the tragic occurrences in her life was obscured.

When she first wrote last May, her main lament was her rejection of a young man who had wanted to marry her and whom she dismissed out of hand for no other reason than that she had considered him to be inferior due to their dissimilar backgrounds.

It didn’t take her long to realize her mistake, which cost her dearly, and there was no way to undo the damage or to turn back the hands of time.

Unfortunately, many young people err in their judgment by exercising very little forethought before making the most crucial decision of their lives. Esther’s story is a powerful lesson for singles who are obsessed with outward appearances and who insist on pursuing material wealth over moral values.

Thank you, Esther, for allowing us to glimpse your pain in the hope that others will think twice about following their foolish aspirations. May you know only of happiness from now on and forever.

A Grateful Reader

Dear Rachel,

Just wanted to say thank you for that upper on Erev Pesach – the wonderful conclusion to Esther’s story. In these hard times it was especially gratifying to hear good news and to be uplifted by a very happy ending (or beginning?) to what started out as a real tragedy.

What a zechus for you, Rachel, and for the Jewish Press! You literally revived a Yiddishe neshama!

Keep up the good work!!

Still smiling

Dear Rachel,

I made copies of all the letters that comprised Esther’s story and shared it with all my married children who were just as enthralled as I was. Now whenever we are tempted to get annoyed by everyday nuisances, we remind ourselves of a woman who suffered unspeakably and who managed to survive despite tragedy that must have made it excruciatingly difficult for her to face each new day. Suddenly, our own inconveniences seem petty in comparison.

Esther certainly deserves her new found happiness and we wish her all the best and more.

Counting our blessings

Dear Rachel,

I’ve been following this fascinating story from the beginning and am awed by the kindness of Hashem for the complete transformation in “Esther’s” life. From someone who sympathized in her pain, I wish to convey my happiness for her and wish her all the best in her new life with her new husband, her son and family, and with her Aliyah. Her life truly made an Aliyah!!!! When things settle down, perhaps she would write a book; this could be a bestseller.

Cheering from the sidelines

Dear Rachel,

I write to convey my Mazel Tov to Esther. Wow! To believe that in our times of Hester Panim a miracle like this can happen! How a life can be turned around from a torturous existence to a joyous productive life with just a little bit (or a lot) of caring from family and strangers!

Mi Keamcho Yisroel!

Dear Rachel,

Like you, I became misty-eyed as I read of Esther’s engagement and of her imminent departure to the Holy Land. Like others, I suspect, I was so overcome with excitement over her good fortune that I was practically dancing in my living-room out of a genuine desire to be mesameach Chossen v’Kalla. I extend my heartiest Mazel Tov to Esther, as well as my wish that other sad souls be inspired by her story to hope and pray for a brighter future.

Hope indeed springs eternal

Dear Rachel,

As I glanced heavenward on Erev Pesach and beheld the glorious sun that so many around the globe were hoping to see on this particular morning of Birchas HaChama, I couldn’t help but think of Esther and of how she wrote “The sun rose on me in middle of the night! Miracle of miracles!!!” Yes, as you said, in the realm of G-d nothing is impossible. May the sun keep on shining to light Esther’s way as well as all of Klal Yisrael’s!

Never doubt that the sun will come out…

Dear Esther Enthusiasts,

Many of you have written to express your heartfelt congratulations to Esther, and we all seem to be in accord – we wish her fulfillment of her heart’s desires and a happy life forever after. Thank you all for your heartwarming comments and letters. Hopefully Esther continues to stay in tune, even as she embarks on her new life. Baruch Hashem!!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-160/2009/05/06/

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