This week I was really struggling with a parenting issue, and I found myself feeling stressed and angry. I was mostly OK with how I had handled the situation, but not completely, and I was feeling all kinds of other things, including but not limited to: fear, fury, worry, shame, regret, blame, frustration, annoyance, and irritation. In case you think that many of these are similar, they are not. Each is at a slightly different point on the anger spectrum and each is very special to me and has its place in the repertoire of my emotional cholent.
Our daughter’s wedding was fast approaching on Tuesday, December 28th, and Omicron was proving to be the black shadow that cast a cloud on the whole thing. One by one, friends and relatives messaged us that they could not come, due to illness or fear of illness. Plus, we had been planning an outdoor chuppah, and the weather forecast was calling for 100% chance of rain, all day. You don’t see a bold prediction like that too often. I completely understood all of it, but was feeling terribly disappointed.
I recently got back from a trip to Israel, which was thrilling on many levels. First, the joy of being able to travel to the Holy Land, after so many months of not knowing when we’d be able to go back, made the trip all the more sweet. As one of the attendees remarked, “You know how you get a Jew to Israel? Tell him he can’t go to Israel.” Also, I was privileged to travel on a Momentum tour, which is an organization that takes Jewish mothers to Israel on a free trip to explore the land, their Judaism, and themselves. It’s always supercharged to experience our land through the eyes and hearts of these inspired women. Finally, I stayed five extra days to spend time with my daughter Hindy who is at Meohr seminary — five days of pure nachas.
Hello OOTOB Readers,
Somehow, this summer sneaked right by and I failed to notice that this past July marked ten years of my blog, with my first post, The Bridge, having appeared on July 25, 2011 (when I read it now I cringe at my writing style, naivete, and grammar gaffes). I thought it only appropriate to look back at the past ten years of this blog, and of the relationships I’ve had through it over the decade.
Every time you think Covid is over, there’s a new variant to freak you out. Omicron is the latest in the “let’s-worry-before-we-know-if-there’s-cause-to-worry” parade in the news, but it certainly won’t be the last. In other words, Covid isn’t actually going away anytime soon. We just have to learn to live with it as a present reality in our lives, which, to my view, must go on.
I have learned over the years that my High Holiday experience was different from many Jews I’d later meet. Growing up in my Orthodox bubble of New York and then Cleveland Heights, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were mainly about the prayers. “Where are you going to daven (pray)” was a far more likely question than, “Who’s coming over for Rosh Hashanah dinner?” In fact, we usually did not have any guests for Rosh Hashanah dinner. The solemnity of the day didn’t feel compatible with the celebratory atmosphere of guests. Yom Kippur break-fast was a small and unimpressive affair.