As he was en route, with one scholar and one scholar-wannabe in tow, he was unfortunately involved in a too-close encounter with a huge army truck.
I was aware he didn’t want me to “imagine” making coffee in a forced new dream.
I told her not to do anything or say anything and I immediately called Rabbi Gerlitzky, the Lubavitcher Rebbe's shaliach in Tel Aviv and a dear friend of the family. I told him the story.
The entire downtown business district would pour into the streets around 5:30 p.m., clogging the already congested traffic lanes of Chicago's bustling Loop. Blaring horns of Checker taxicabs and city buses made it hard to hear one's own voice, but I always heard my father's voice...
Sophie eagerly anticipated her meanderings through the ancient streets of the Old City of Jerusalem where her ancestors had walked thousands of years ago.
She walked into my husband's office, accompanied by her father. They were clearly from Israel's lower socioeconomic class. The father was a large, frightening man who reeked of alcohol, and his daughter was a recent ba'alat teshuvah.
Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.
After being checked by a doctor, my father needed to undergo some minor surgery. It was clear to his two children in Israel that my father could no longer live independently.
Immediately people went up to him to help him, to find out what the problem was and to solve it as soon as possible.
I had imagined it was my mother who would probably miss us the most. But what do we really know about what is happening?
Her first tactic was tefillah; she immediately began to recite one perek after another of Tehillim.
With so much to do before our recent trip, I was walking on a cloud. It must have been evident to one and all, since my feet barely touched the ground. Who would have believed that I would arrive at this special time – so grateful am I to HaKadosh Baruch Hu?
As your family came from France, it is likely that they were transported to Auschwitz and murdered there, he told us.
I endured a personal trial as I struggled to become a mother. In a community where just about every event is geared toward families, I felt the pain of not fitting in.
To the surprise of our protectzia-invested acquaintances, my family has thrived in our daled amos without that amenity, b’ezras Hashem.
On December 31, 2009, my father was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, almost everyone will be touched by this horrible disease in one fashion or another. I have had many friends who have been affected by cancer, but they were younger and stronger than my dad, or Tatinke, who is 84.
My treasured parents loved Yiddishkeit. Their belief in Hashem was unwavering. My darling Daddy used to tell me that if I was ever afraid, I should recite the Shema. Whenever I was troubled, my precious Mommy would reassure me, "Gott vet helfen!" (God will help!).
It was erev Simchas Torah and I had just lit my Yom Tov candles. I was rushing to go to hakafos (dancing with the Torah) at my local shul.
Our forefather Yaakov is considered to have been the patriarch who endured the most suffering. Although our rabbis look to the binding of Yitzchak and the trial of Avraham as the epitome of suffering in the form of self-sacrifice, Yaakov is our greatest teacher in the difficult subject of dealing with life's hardships.
My mother had a difficult pregnancy. Some doctors said it was a miracle I was born and came out as good as I did.
Feeling more alone than at any time since arriving in New York, I looked inside myself for anything that could anchor me to bring me back to who I was, to move away from illusions of romance to my central sticking point. Suddenly and unexpectedly, being a Jew meant more to me than anything else in the world.
We were very excited about attending our dear nephew's aufruf (ceremony in shul the Shabbos preceding a wedding). We didn't know where we were being put up, but somehow the address sounded familiar. When we got to the house, I recognized it immediately. It was the Brooklyn office of the Hebron community in Israel. The bar mitzvah of my son, of blessed memory, had been Parshas Chayei Sarah, the Torah portion that describes how Abraham buried his wife Sarah in Hebron. His bar mitzvah theme had been "Hebron."
I calculated on my fingers. She was now up to week 27. Yehuda hung up, but he sounded very upset. I wished I could help, but I had no idea what to do. So, I turned to my Tehillim.
There were three names with brief bios on the list. All had similar qualities and were within the correct age and frumkeit range. With nothing to distinguish one from the others, we could have enlisted the tried-and-true option of “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…” Instead, we decided to base our decision on practical and geographic considerations. So we opted to go with the candidate from Teaneck, New Jersey, reasonably close in proximity to our son’s apartment in Edison.
We all said our goodbyes and exchanged lots of hugs and best wishes before heading to bed the night before her flight, just in case we would not wake up in time to see her off. Better too many hugs than too few…
This was just one of the odd things I heard, there were more when we visited the family sitting shiva.
Meital and Aharon, married for several years, were thrilled to discover that Meital was pregnant. But within a few hours of their son’s birth, it was painfully apparent that things were far from all right medically.
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.
Two years ago Mrs. S. was divorced after an unhappy, childless marriage. Now in her mid-60s, she has no interest in finding a new husband. At this time, she told me, she is just beginning to discover herself as an independent adult, and she is reveling in the opportunity to make her own choices on everything from what to cook for dinner to what color to paint the bedroom.
Zohara was born in Morocco. With her husband, she raised a large family. A busy woman, she always seemed to find time to help others in need. Her daughter, Aliza, told me of the many sleepless nights her mother spent nursing babies. That is not unusual in itself, were it not for the fact that many of the babies she nursed were not her own.