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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘journey’

Livni Sets Kadima Primaries for March 27

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Kadima MK and Chairperson Tzipi Livni announced Wednesday that the party would hold primary elections on March 27, two days after the Knesset’s winter session ends.

Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz is expected to compete with Livni for leadership of the party, hoping to vindicate his narrow loss in the last primary vote. MKs Avi Dichter and Meir Sheetrit are also expected to enter the running for chairman.

Mofaz spoke of the primaries as a new beginning for Kadima: “She [Livni] is finished as head of the party . . . Today has begun the journey to replace Netanyahu. I am going to lead this journey.”

Jewish Press Staff

Calendar Of Events

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

WHAT: Rabbi Benjamin Blech will take you with him on an incredible journey as he introduces you to Vendyl Joes, the man who inspired Steven Spielberg’s hero in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Find out how this former Christian minister came to head an international organization of non-Jews known as B’nei Noach, committed to observing the seven universal laws. WHERE: Young Israel of Bal Harbour, 9592 Harding Avenue (2nd floor) – parking behind building. WHEN: January 4 at 8 p.m. CONTACT: Phone – 305-866-0203 or e-mail – yibh@atlanticbb.net.

 

WHAT: Meet the author series: Ernest Paul will be speaking about his books, “Ernest Triumphant!” and “Sara Triumphant!” Paul’s journey took him from a bucolic village in Czechoslovakia through the chaos and horror of World War II to the ordeals facing the fledging state of Israel and eventually to the shores of opportunity in North and South America.
WHERE: Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, 2031 Harrison St., Hollywood.
WHEN: Thursday, January 26 at 2:30 p.m.
COST: General admission, $5 per person. Members, free.
Students and education professionals (with school/university ID), free of charge.
CONTACT: To RSVP or for information about becoming a member, call 954-929-5690 (ext. 378) or e-mail librarian@hdec.org.

Shelley Benveniste

A Variety Of Blends

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

When I became the mom of a blended family more that fifteen years ago, I imagined that there were only two possible options: either we blended or we didn’t, and blending was the definitive goal.  It was my theory that the best blends were the ones that were seamless; so integrated that you were not able to detect where one family unit originally ended and the other began.  I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but for some reason it brought me great pleasure when people would look at my daughter and assume she was my husband’s biological child.  There was a sense of completeness when we were out and about with our four children, two from his first marriage and two from mine, and I would often fantasize that this is the way it always had been and always would be; we were meant to be a cohesive group. I think back with joy to when our four younger “shared” or “connector” children were added to our blend and acquaintances would comment on how similar they looked to their older half siblings. Funny as that might seem I was convinced that these were signs from above that we were doing something right!

Now that I am older and more experienced at this “blended family” thing, I have come to realize that there are actually some perfectly full-fledged “blended” families that are not that blended at all, and they seem to be just fine.

When I look at my friends who are also step-moms I do not notice any concern over the fact that they see their stepchildren as just that: stepchildren, rather than embracing them as their own. It doesn’t seem to irk them that their stepchildren call them by their first names rather than Mom or some version thereof. They claim not to lose sleep over what their step kids are up to. You can plainly see that they love these children; they just choose to leave the worrying to the “real mom and dad.” In fact I recently asked an acquaintance, whom I knew has several older stepchildren and just became a grandmother, if her new grandson was her first grandchild. Her response gave me much to think about and was the catalyst that got my mind working on this article. She answered that her new grandson was her first, but that her husband had two young grandchildren. What struck me is that this couple had actually been married over twenty years and she still thought of her husband’s children from his previous marriage as his and not hers.

Honestly, when I think about it, there might just be something positive in adopting this kind of attitude. These women are perfectly good stepmothers; they are caring, compassionate, warm women. I certainly do not consider myself a better stepmother simply because my stepchildren call me “Mommy” or that when I am asked how many children I have I automatically respond eight instead of just counting the six that I gave birth to.

Self-evaluation is often a complicated and emotional journey and I sometimes wonder why creating this “normal” family unit was so important to me.  Why did I need that validation of the strong role I played in my stepchildren’s lives? Why did I need to be recognized?

Over the years, time and experiences has changed us – and our needs have changed as well.  I believe that at the beginning of our relationship, my stepchildren and I all needed to feel that closeness that comes with being acknowledged as parent and child. We were all wounded from the process of divorce and the challenges of blending. Making that commitment to each other, letting the world know that we were indeed a “real family” was in a sense making a statement that our bond was valid and long term. It was reassuring and stabilizing at a time when we needed to feel that stability.

Yehudit Levinson

The Golden Slippers

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

The long awaited wedding of her son was the highlight of Faiga’s (all names used here are fictitious) life. A widow, she had never given up hope that she would one day walk her son down the aisle to his chuppah. With a mixture of fear over the long flight ahead and joy at the upcoming simcha, she boarded the plane. She had never undertaken such a long journey, but nothing could have held her back.

When she arrived in Israel, she barely had time to settle in when it was time to go to the wedding. She dressed in her new outfit and started to put on the new pair of shoes she had bought for the occasion. Something was wrong. Her feet had swollen up during the flight and she could not get her feet inside the shoes. There was no time to shop for a larger pair, and so she place her feet into the shoes as best as she could, with her heels pressing down on the back of the shoes, rather than inside, where they belonged. It was very uncomfortable.

Faiga limped painfully along as she slowly walked her son down the aisle. After what felt like an eternity, she went up the three steps to the chuppah. The thought of standing next to her son through-out the wedding ceremony while constantly feeling discomfort, rather than just enjoying the moment, convinced her to do something to alleviate the situation. As unobtrusively as possible, she slipped her feet out of their tight confine.

A man, waiting for the chuppah to begin, noticed the chatan’s mother was standing barefoot under the chuppah. He quickly called over to his wife, Ruchie. The hotel where the wedding took place was also used as a temporary home for new Russian immigrants. The man suggested that his wife hurry to the lobby and try to find someone who could loan her a pair of large shoes or slippers for Faiga to wear under the chuppah.

The wife, herself an olah of many years from Russia, ran to the lobby.

She went from one person to the next, explaining the situation, but me with no success. Finally, one woman told her to wait, she would be right back.

The woman returned and gave Ruchie a bag with several pairs of slippers to choose from. One pair caught her eye. They looked large enough to accommodate a pair of swollen feet, and they were gold, and so could pass for wedding shoes.

After the chuppah was over, Ruchie took the slippers, planning to return them to their owner. The woman said, “But what will the chatan’s mother wear on her feet to dance?” She told Ruchie to give the slippers back to Faiga for the rest of the wedding. Ruchie took the woman’s phone number so she would be able to return it the next day.

The wedding was wonderful. Faiga danced and enjoyed the special evening. The next day, Ruchie picked up the slippers, prepared to return them to their owner. When she called to ask if the woman was available to receive them, she got a pleasant surprise.

“Let the lady keep the slippers. They fit her and she needs to wear something.”

The story does not end here. Ruchie was so impressed with the old Russian woman, that she decided to befriend her. She began calling her up every week. One day, about four years into their friendship, the woman called Ruchie with a strange request.

“I am making my gefilte fish today. I would like you to come over and write down the recipe.”

The two friends sat talking as Ruchie helped the old woman chop the vegetables and grind the fish. Ruchie carefully copied down the recipe, not understanding why this was so important to the woman. Two weeks later, Ruchie got a call from the old woman’s relative. The old woman had passed away. She knew her end was near, and she wanted to leave something of herself to Ruchie, who had become so important to her. She left her recipe for gefilte fish.

A pair of swollen feet, a pair of golden slippers and a recipe for gefilte fish-Hashem works in mysterious ways, indeed.

May we all be zocheh to see yad Hashem in all we experience in our lives.

Debbie Garfinkel Diament

The Road Trip

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

We’re on one of those really long family road trips. The kind that parenting experts advise will imprint fond memories on your children’s psyche. (How’s that for guilt?) And the kind on which you never leave home without a bottle of Tylenol and your favorite cup of strongly caffeinated, black coffee.

 

             So, as we’re driving, and watching the scenic countryside, I try to forget that my cramped legs desperately need a stretch. Instead I reframe and feel super-proud of my parenting skills in providing my children with emotional equilibrium as well as life-long family memories.

 

I’m sure they’ll never forget the never-ending quests for sugary snacks, the onslaught of super charged comments like: “are we here yet?” “I’m soooo bored!” and “why ARE we going?!” Not to mention the endless squabbles.

 

I know I sure won’t.

 

It’s getting darker outside. It’s a summer rainstorm-huge claps of thunder and frightening streaks of lightening and a flood of heavy rain.

 

As the noise from the passenger seats of our van gets (it must be even-fonder-family-memories being formed), I’m starting to have my doubts about whether we really are on the right track. (Not a good idea to share with stressed-out-in-the-driver’s-seat-husband.) But the doubts have crept into my consciousness and won’t go away. Have we missed our exit? Taken a wrong turn? (An even worse suggestion to offer to now-even-more-stressed-out-husband.) And my worst personal fear-are we almost out of gas?

 

It’s been an awfully long time since I spotted the last sign offering any direction. And the darker it becomes, the harder I strain to see ahead.

 

And then, when the despair is almost reaching a fever pitch, I see it. Just another couple of hundred feet–a rest stop.

 

Finally.

 

Time to stop. Time for a stretch. Time to regroup, refocus and remind everyone why we’re on this journey, with one another, to begin with. Time to store up on fresh, cold drinks, new sweets, fuel for the car, and high-powered energy for those driving it.

 

Time also to get directions. To re-evaluate and make sure that we’re on the best route.

 

I heave a sigh of relief. Intuitively, I know that once we get back on the road, everyone will be far more calm and sure of where they are heading.


 


Our lives, too, are one long journey. Along the way, we each have our personal missions that we’re here to accomplish–some big and all-encompassing; others, smaller, but nevertheless just as important in the overall picture.

 

Unlike our long car trip, our life’s journey isn’t about the destination, but the paths taken throughout. But still, as we pass through the various intersections of our lives, sometimes, through it all, life’s tediousness bogs us down. The nuances along the way may cramp our style, make us thirsty, irritated or even give us a throbbing headache. Sometimes, we even forget our destination or why we’re here. There are moments when the journey can seem pointless, monotonous or hopelessly frustrating.

 

And then, we sight it. Off in the distance, a few days ahead on our desktop calendars, is our rest stop – our holidays, or moadim, specially set times, interspersed throughout our year.


These set special days are our opportunities to reload, to fill up on spiritual nourishment (not to mention the oh-so-fattening-and-oh-so-sugary-culinary delicacies that we’ll be oh-so-sorry-to-have-eaten-later ), direction and reconnection. Time to become reinvigorated, to refocus on our journey, why we’re here, where we’re heading and to evaluate if we’re taking the best possible route.

 

So, enjoy the drive. Don’t miss out on the glorious beauty of the scenery (or the kids). And take real good advantage of those rest stops all along the way.

Chana Weisberg

The Road Trip

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

We’re on one of those really long family road trips. The kind that parenting experts advise will imprint fond memories on your children’s psyche. (How’s that for guilt?) And the kind on which you never leave home without a bottle of Tylenol and your favorite cup of strongly caffeinated, black coffee.

 

             So, as we’re driving, and watching the scenic countryside, I try to forget that my cramped legs desperately need a stretch. Instead I reframe and feel super-proud of my parenting skills in providing my children with emotional equilibrium as well as life-long family memories.

 

I’m sure they’ll never forget the never-ending quests for sugary snacks, the onslaught of super charged comments like: “are we here yet?” “I’m soooo bored!” and “why ARE we going?!” Not to mention the endless squabbles.

 

I know I sure won’t.

 

It’s getting darker outside. It’s a summer rainstorm-huge claps of thunder and frightening streaks of lightening and a flood of heavy rain.

 

As the noise from the passenger seats of our van gets (it must be even-fonder-family-memories being formed), I’m starting to have my doubts about whether we really are on the right track. (Not a good idea to share with stressed-out-in-the-driver’s-seat-husband.) But the doubts have crept into my consciousness and won’t go away. Have we missed our exit? Taken a wrong turn? (An even worse suggestion to offer to now-even-more-stressed-out-husband.) And my worst personal fear-are we almost out of gas?

 

It’s been an awfully long time since I spotted the last sign offering any direction. And the darker it becomes, the harder I strain to see ahead.

 

And then, when the despair is almost reaching a fever pitch, I see it. Just another couple of hundred feet–a rest stop.

 

Finally.

 

Time to stop. Time for a stretch. Time to regroup, refocus and remind everyone why we’re on this journey, with one another, to begin with. Time to store up on fresh, cold drinks, new sweets, fuel for the car, and high-powered energy for those driving it.

 

Time also to get directions. To re-evaluate and make sure that we’re on the best route.

 

I heave a sigh of relief. Intuitively, I know that once we get back on the road, everyone will be far more calm and sure of where they are heading.

 

Our lives, too, are one long journey. Along the way, we each have our personal missions that we’re here to accomplish–some big and all-encompassing; others, smaller, but nevertheless just as important in the overall picture.

 

Unlike our long car trip, our life’s journey isn’t about the destination, but the paths taken throughout. But still, as we pass through the various intersections of our lives, sometimes, through it all, life’s tediousness bogs us down. The nuances along the way may cramp our style, make us thirsty, irritated or even give us a throbbing headache. Sometimes, we even forget our destination or why we’re here. There are moments when the journey can seem pointless, monotonous or hopelessly frustrating.

 

And then, we sight it. Off in the distance, a few days ahead on our desktop calendars, is our rest stop – our holidays, or moadim, specially set times, interspersed throughout our year.

These set special days are our opportunities to reload, to fill up on spiritual nourishment (not to mention the oh-so-fattening-and-oh-so-sugary-culinary delicacies that we’ll be oh-so-sorry-to-have-eaten-later ), direction and reconnection. Time to become reinvigorated, to refocus on our journey, why we’re here, where we’re heading and to evaluate if we’re taking the best possible route.

 

So, enjoy the drive. Don’t miss out on the glorious beauty of the scenery (or the kids). And take real good advantage of those rest stops all along the way.

Chana Weisberg

Short Circuit

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

My husband of 40 years is always ready to help people. He is also very kind to his family and is always eager to embark on a family outing. However, he has one stipulation. He would rather not drive long distances at night, as he has had challenging experiences driving in the dark in fog, rain and other inclement weather.

I, on the other hand, have always felt that we should leave at night so as not to waste the day by traveling.

Last year, I convinced him to leave for the mountains late on a Saturday night so that we could enjoy a full day of activities on Sunday. He was not comfortable with this suggestion, but agreed nonetheless.

After we traversed the Washington Bridge, I commented that the trip was going smoothly. Suddenly, the headlights began to dim. Since there are no lights on the Palisades Parkway, we were in a dangerous situation. We didn’t know what to do. We started making a mental list of all the people we knew in Monsey who might put us up for the night. Through all this, my husband, much to his credit, remained calm and did not make me feel guilty for convincing him to leave at night.

What he said was, “Did you remember to say Tefillas Haderech?” I had forgotten to say it, so I quickly took the prayer book out of the glove compartment and began to recite it aloud by the light of a small penlight.

No sooner had I finished saying the prayer than the lights in our car began to work again.

We were not sure if we should continue on our journey, so we proceeded with caution to the next gas station. The attendant there offered to assess the problem. He did not find anything wrong with the car. We proceeded to the mountains without a hitch.

This was surely a “Light-bulb moment.”

The dimming of the lights in our car was a reminder from Hashem that if we wanted a safe journey, it didn’t matter if we traveled during the day or at night – as long as we journeyed with Him!

Name Withheld Upon Request

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/short-circuit/2010/11/17/

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