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Showing posts from October, 2011

The Safest Place in the World

Take a moment and go inside and ask yourself a question: When was the last time you really felt safe? I don’t mean ‘safe’ in the sense of ‘not in a war zone.’ I mean, when did you feel totally safe. Ultimately safe. Existentially safe in this life? Can you think of a time at all? Try as hard as you can to find a place, a time, a memory, when you knew that kind of safety, that kind of blissful security. If you’re anything like me, you might have a hard time locating a specific memory. Some of us may not be able to think of a single memory at all that fits this criteria. It’s a funny thing to contemplate, because somewhere inside, we feel like we must have had an experience of being cosmically safe, but it’s hard to find a memory that directly points to one experience of it. I can tell you that when I think about this question, I can’t find a particular story in my life like that; it’s more of a feeling about my relationships through my life. I’m particularly drawn back to my…

The Pursuit of Longing

I remember when I was a very little boy, around the age of three, my parents did a big mitzvah: they took in a woman who didn’t have a home of her own, and gave her room and board, and in exchange, she kept up the house and helped take care of me. The woman’s name was Ruthie. My parents tell me that Ruthie liked to keep to herself, with a sad, wistful, faraway look in her eye. Ruthie apparently had had a son once, a son whom she had lost, but she never spoke of him. Whenever my mother asked her about what happened with her son, she never wanted to discuss it. But one thing drove away her sadness: she loved me! I mean, she adored little three-year-old me. The sad, quiet Ruthie whom my parents describe doesn’t match my memories. All I remember is her unreserved smile, her laughter, her hugs, her loving touch, her carrying me and taking me everywhere with her. I remember feeling so safe and loved whenever I was around her. And my parents confirm this memory: she was a differ…

God Doesn't Give Us More Than We Can Handle

It has been two and half years since my little girl, my youngest, Meirav, was diagnosed with Type 1 “Juvenile” Diabetes. In some ways, it seems like centuries ago, since that terrible day when she was rushed to the hospital, having trouble breathing, her skin, ashen. It seems like another lifetime now, the moment the doctors told us that our beautiful, perfect little girl had an incurable disease; a disease that would require insulin dependence and constant monitoring to keep her alive—for the rest of her life. I’ll never forget those images of those early moments and days in the hospital: my little one hooked up to all those tubes and wires in intensive care; her cries in fear and pain; the doctors, nurses, technicians frantically working around her; the look in my wife’s eyes as she steeled herself to be strong for her and for us all; my wife’s hand holding Meirav’s little limp hand in her palm. The ensuing days, trying to get my mind around this sudden new reality; the nurses…