Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shopping With A Shopper

When it came time to shop for props for my daughter's bat mitzvah, a dear friend offered to help me out.  I thought it was so sweet, and readily said yes.  Little did I know that this dear friend is a shop-a-holic.

Like most major cities, Los Angeles has a downtown wholesale shopping district (well, it feels wholesale and you feel like you're getting a deal).  My dear friend, my daughter and I went downtown one Sunday with the intent to doing some light shopping, maybe stopping off for an ice cream.  I'm not a real shopper and don't like walking from store to store.

Oh my gosh, we walked from store to store.  And the thing is, downtown, all the stores look alike, and pretty much carry the same items.  One thing I will say is, you can haggle with the Hispanics, but not the Asians.  Man, they are tough.  If you want it bad enough, you pay their price.

My daughter, bless her heart, does like to shop, but my dear friend even wore her out.  How does a person get that kind of energy?

It's a gift.  G-d bless her.  Without my dear friend helping out, the party would not have been as merry.  I only know that G-d gives us the strength when we need it.  Even to shop.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Let Us All Say Amen

Besides it being Friday, the 13th and Eruv Yom Kippur, it's actually a beautiful day here in Los Angeles, where the sun always shines and all 10 million people who live here were on the freeway with me simultaneously.  I bet I can train my mind to watch TV and drive at the rate I'm traveling.

It's all good.  Here's a loving Daily Dose from the Rebbe.  Easy and meaningful fast to those who do.

  Tishrei 9, 5774 ·September 13, 2013

G‑d has many delights:
The delight that comes from a pure and simple act of love.
Greater than that, the delight that comes from an act of beauty sparkling in the darkness.
Greater than that, the delight when a child who has run away returns with all her heart.

Delight lies at the essence of all that is.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shedding More Tears

There are two young women in my community who lost their mother quite unexpectedly just over a month ago.  They are both married and moved away, but their mother was so much a part of the Jewish life here that they came back for the holidays in her last home.

On Sunday, during our monthly Tehillim gathering, the eldest daughter told us a story of how she connected to her mother this Rosh HaShanah.  Tearful over her loss, and advised by a wise woman to do so, the young woman just started talking to her mother, pouring out her heart about how much she missed her and wished they could still be together.

The first day of Rosh HaShanah, after prayers, another member of the congregation came up to the oldest daughter with an old Mazchor, or prayer book for the holiday.  Inside was her mother's name, and throughout the book, handwritten notes by her mother about the significance of various prayers.  Amazing indeed, as all Mazchorim are locked together in a cabinet all year and are used by both men and women alike.  That this Mazchor ended up on the women's side of the room was a miracle in itself.

This daughter told us, through tears, that her mother had indeed been with her that Rosh HaShanah, and that her heart felt wishes had been, in part, answered.

Those of us listening who also lost mothers cried with her.  But we are all limited.  The book, while satisfying, is not a mother's touch, her voice, her smile.  Time makes the physical distance fade, but it's always there.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pegging Us As People

As much as I would like to blog on a daily basis, something always pulls my away.  It's called exhaustion.

Here's something that came to my email yesterday, and I think it's worth putting out there:

Bouncing Up
    Tishrei 6, 5774 · September 10,         2013

Why does the human being destroy? Why does it wreak havoc in the world?
The way this world was made, there is no step forward without first a step backward. Night comes before day, pain before pleasure, confusion before wisdom.
But then G‑d made the human being, who strives beyond the design of things, who yearns to leap past its own nature, to embrace the infinite. This creature, too, must first fall so that it can leap upward. But since its leap is beyond its bounds, it must first fall beneath them.
That is sin—a fall beneath your own boundaries.
And that is the power of return
—to leap beyond any bounds at all.