Last night we had a full house of family, and it was so much fun for the kids and for all the adults to be together, eat, talk, and just have a great time. I read an amazing story on Friday before Shabbat that I shared, it is from a Rabbi that lost his wife two years ago, raising their 8 children alone, the youngest one was two when she passed away.
Two questions from my four year old son helped me understand two years worth of emotions and feelings.
He is the youngest child, yet he seems to always ask the toughest questions.
“Why are we going to New York next week” was his question one day last week while on the way to school.
How to explain it all over again? Passing, burial, anniversary of passing, visiting the grave. He was only two years old at the time and doesn’t remember much.
He knows that she lives on “up there” yet he doesn’t understand much about the part that is buried down here. He has not yet even been to the site.
I simply answered “Because it’s mommy’s Yahrtzeit” and hoped it would suffice.
Up there, down here, would be the best way to explain much of the emotions and feelings of the last two years.
It also helps to explain much about life. We yearn for a day off, yet we recognize we need to work. We anticipate a vacation, only to understand that soon it is time to get back to real life. We wish we could be young again and be nurtured by our parents, yet we realize that we have a purpose that requires us to move on and out. We wish we could be ‘up there’ yet we know we belong ‘down here’.
The flame on the candle constantly flickers and jumps trying to reach higher, only to return to the wick, knowing that its purpose is to remain there and provide light.
The mystics call it “Ratzo and Shov” or “Run and Return” and it describes the ongoing experience of the soul as it yearns to be “up there” at its source, yet it also understands that it needs to remain down here so that it can fulfill its purpose and mission in life.
The yearning is healthy because it keeps you connected to your source, yet the retreat is where reality exists. It’s where G-d wants you to be at the present moment, sometimes without your loved ones nearby.
The yearning and retreat are both important, yet the success lies in finding the proper balance. The question is how that is done.
My sons second question told me that he seems to know the answer.
“Can you please buy me 100 helium balloons?”he asked. When I asked why he needs them he replied: “So that I can fly up to the sky, give her a kiss, and then come right back down”
One of the cousins who recently became Bar Mitzva was impersonating Donald Trump just like Jimmy Fallon, and is going to dress up like Trump for Purim. So today I was reading an article that said we should not have political conversations at our Shabbat table, and I just found it hilarious.
My favorite joke was, “what does Donald J. Trump stand for ? GENIUS!
Then I am reading an amazing book about the Story of Esther that we read on Purim, it was originally in Ladino, the language of the Sephardic Jews, and was then translated, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me%27am_Lo%27ez. The passage I read today was about King Achashverosh, who had immense wealth, and it made me think about our current front runner.
“Achashverosh was trying to make himself popular with this people. He wanted them to see that he was worthy to be king, if only because of his great wealth. It is good when a ruler is wealthy. If he has a private fortune with which to run his palace, he does not need to raise much money from taxes. Furthermore, a wealthy ruler is not subject to bribes and influence peddling; and therefore, he treats rich and poor people alike.”
This also cracked me up:
I am staying out of politics,
Just laughing that only in America could it be Trump vs. Bernie, and all of the Anti Israel crowd would vote for Bernie the Jew because they are scared of Trump.