Photo Credit: Jewish Press

“What’s that tune you keep humming?” asked my husband, curiously.

“It’s called, “Nothing’s Gonna Change,” “I replied.


“Funny, I never heard you hum it before, and now you’re humming or la-la-la-ing it all the time. Where’s it from?”

“I heard it one day when I turned on the radio to hear the news on the hour, as I always do. I turned it on earlier than usual and it was playing, and it stuck in my head. It’s a happy melody, positive, upbeat, in a major key, not like the songs we’ve been hearing all the time since October 7, sad and mournful, in a minor key, which make you want to cry.

“I actually misheard the title. I thought it was called “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Life,” but instead of the word “life” it’s actually love, and the full title is “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You.”

I told my husband that I thought more deeply about the title – but based on my mishearing of it. I knew instinctively that the statement, or message, in the first three words of the title was basically flawed. I wanted to read all the lyrics from beginning to end to see if I was correct, so I decided to print them out and consider them more closely. As I thought, the song was written from the standpoint of young people. Was I also like that when I was 19, 20, 21? I can’t remember, it’s a long time ago.

I do remember, though, that young people think that they are in control of their own destinies. It takes a bit more maturity to acknowledge that this is far from the truth. Change is often foisted upon us in major and minor situations, both national and personal. And some of the lines stood out in their distorted thinking. “With you I see forever, oh so clearly:” And “Our dreams are young and we both know they’ll take us where we want to go.”

I was reading the lyrics at the kitchen table. And I needed no better confirmation of my antagonism to those lines than to walk two meters over to the refrigerator and look at some of the photos and mementos stuck under the magnets on the door.

I first looked at the photo taken at the wedding of Shevi,* our granddaughter from Baltimore, who married an Israeli young man.

The photograph showed my two daughters and their husbands enjoying the outdoor buffet on a warm August evening. I was not there. It was August 2020, a few months into the COVID-19 virus, and I was practically confined to the house, because of my defective immune system. But I did watch the chuppah on Zoom, and remember seeing my husband keeping his distance from the other guests, so as not to risk catching COVID-19 and possibly infecting me. He gave the chattan and kallah his beracha standing next to a lone tree, after which he returned home alone in a cab.

Who would have thought we would not have been at Shevi’s wedding together? That her sister, brothers and her American grandparents would also have had to watch the chuppah on Zoom and change all their plans to fly to Israel for the wedding and week of sheva brachot?

We lived through those COVID-19 years in a state of flux. Things were changing all the time. Instructions from the Health Ministry: masks; vaccinations; social distancing; weddings held in the backyard with 20 people, maximum; minyanim in the street or on a balcony; schools closed, lessons were given on Zoom. Elderly parents were sometimes unable to see their children and grandchildren for months.

The only thing that didn’t change was the necessity to change many facets of our daily life.

With Hashem’s help, we came through that tough period, and life returned to normal. We even began to make modest plans, saw family again, remarked on how great-grandchildren had grown, met some of them for the first time.

My eyes then lit on the photo of Revital’s* bat-mitzvah, only a few months ago. Each of us in the family group photo is smiling broadly, reveling in her happiness, enjoying the simcha.

The most recent additions to the refrigerator door were painstakingly written Rosh Hashana greetings from several great-grandchildren living right in the center of Jerusalem. Avi* and Yitzi* had personally delivered the notes to us a day or two before Rosh Hashana, traveling by light rail and bus to our distant suburb.

Who thought then that they would need to be within 90 seconds of access to a safe room?

We celebrated Rosh Hashana only 21 days before the savage attacks in Israel which have changed almost all aspects of our lives. We are living the changes, every day. We are at war. The war has already lasted for several months. We don’t know what the outcome will be.

I hum that uplifting tune, I know that I do NOT “see forever” (or even what the next day will bring); but pray that Hashem will stand with us, give us the strength to win this war and overcome the forces of darkness which threaten us in His Land.

*Names have been changed.


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