Tag Archives: kotel

2008 retrospective

I started writing a look back at the year that was, but the first draft ended up being a play by play of the guys that I dated. I should be blushing here, right, but I will not. I was on a quest to find my prince charming and I guess that was my main focus of this year. Those of you who read all the Frumster Files  (including the deleted ones) know a lot of what I experienced.

 

After many disappointments, and some close calls, this year on Rosh Hashannah my davenning was to ask Hashem to send me what he felt was right for me at this point in my life. I honestly didn’t think He would be so quick in responding.

 

As I look back on 2008 I want to thank every guy that I dated / went out with / conversed and emailed with. You were all a necessary step on my road to finding my King of Diamonds. Ok a few of you I would like to have stepped completely over or on you, but I didn’t get that choice. I learnt something from each and everyone of you – some things about men in general, some things about myself, my likes and dislikes, my preferences, what I will or will not settle for. There were a couple of you that were really close to be the One – but you didn’t make the final cut….oh well, such is life.  (At this point I would like to say that I didn’t settle for anything less than the very best – and I am so blessed)

 

This was the year of finding my beshert, my beloved future husband, the King of Diamonds. He proposed in front of my children, with tears sparkling in his eyes…sigh….I love sharing our story – so read it again here.

 

This was also the year in which we celebrated the barmitzvah of our eldest son, together, in true blended family tradition – with everyone getting along and being there for our son’s moment in the spotlight. Read about it here Son – you did me proud and I am so honoured to be your Ima. I still think back fondly to that weekend – such great positive memories. My fave – when you started speaking about me in your speech and your voice broke, and the whole hall cried with you. My chance to speak – well, that was icing on the cake. Read my speech here .

 

This year I took my eldest son to Israel and introduced him to his country. I was so priviliged to be able to do this, and the memories will live on in both of us forever. My prayer at the kotel. Some holiday musings .

 

I started working outside the house this year, I blogged about it here  and while it was a big adjustment, I would not trade it for the world. To have people to converse with during the day, about important matters, and not just about groceries and kids – that’s a priceless experience. And to get paid for it – what a bonus!!

 

I made a bunch of new friends this year and enjoyed “old” friends too– you have enriched my life more than you can ever know. I hope our friendships continue to go from strength to strength.

 

I also started blogging this year. First month of blog here . It has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had to date. I have always been one to have something to say, and the idea that there are people out there actually interested in what I have to say just continues to blow my mind!

 

I bought a blackberry  and joined the dark side. I started tweeting too – if you haven’t used twitter.com yet – hop on over there and sign up. This has been an invaluable real time tool for me to advertise my blog, to find out what’s going on in the world, and with my own people. Warning –it can be a little bit addictive if you let it. Note to all who asked – I will not be live tweeting my wedding – that’s been done already…thanks SGR for taking that pressure off me!!

 

I gave up coffee three times this year. Every time I was so impressed with myself. I went without coffee for 3 long months at one point. Everyone (except my stomach) is so much happier with me back to drinking my daily caffeine. Some things are just not worth giving up. Caffeine makes me a better mother – it’s the sacrifice I am willing to make. (of course the fact that I love it very much doesn’t hurt ).

 

My message for you all in 2009 is don’t give up on your dream. Sometimes you may have to tweak it a little, refine and reshape – but don’t give up. You never know what life has in store.

 

So my motto for 2009 is this “all will be fine in 2009”.

Bookmark and Share

Vacation, all I ever wanted

We have 36 hours left in Israel, and it has been absolute bliss! We both feel as if we have been here for weeks. We packed so much into 7 full days, saw so much and experienced more. We visited with people from all walks of life, friends, old and new, and family. We saw people who knew me way back when I was in diapers, bumped into school chums, and cemented family bonds. We visited ruins, and new developments. We heard Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau speak in Modi’in, and we sat on the beach in Netanya (I had a beer on the beach at 10 am, because, well, because I could!). We visited kibbutz, went shopping in the midrechov, and ate our way through fast food places. We davened at various graves – didn’t get to Amukah tho – my son put on tefillin in many different locales. I had wanted him to see the real Israel – and that’s what he has seen.

More than anything, after 7 years away from Israel, and some life changes in between, this visit has given me a huge sense of peace. Standing at the kotel brought me full circle.

My son has had the time of his life. I wanted so badly for him to have a great time, and maybe get a feel for his land, but what I didn’t expect was the depth of emotion and connection that he has expressed to me. Driving along the road between Efrat and Rosh Tzurim, as he gazed out across the rolling hills, he exclaimed “I belong here”. What more could I have asked for?

Dear Lord

Here I stand, at the holiest place that we can access, the Western Wall, the Wailing Wall, the Kotel. I am humbled to be stood here in front of you. I am grateful and thankful for all that I am, all that I have, for I know it comes from you.

 

I remember 16 years ago coming here to pray to you. I was so young and in such deep and throbbing pain and wanted so much. All I craved was a normal life. I asked you to send me a husband, and children, and a happy life. I stood here and cried while praying for those blessings. I cried from the heart, I bared my soul. I wanted a happy life so I could forget the pain. Dear Lord, that is exactly what you sent me. You sent me a man with whom I fell deeply in love, we married, and you blessed us with the four most perfect children parents could ever have hoped to have. The pain receded. Along the way I forgot to thank you for answering my prayers, for giving me all that I had ever wanted. For that I apologize, and I thank you, here, today, now for all that I have.

 

I stand here today 16 years later, my life in the last three years has radically changed. So much has happened, so much turmoil, so much more pain, so much suffering, yet still so many blessings, so much joy. In even my darkest hour I knew you were there, however I turned away from you. I could not accept that the power of your decision was there to help me, to improve me, to make me stronger, to make my life better. Yet even as I turned from you, you were there holding my hand, cradling my head on your shoulder, drying my never-ending tears. Even though I had forsaken you, you never forsook me, never. You waited patiently until I opened myself back up to you.

 

When I had no faith left in the world, or in myself, you had faith, you believed, you knew I could turn it all around. You knew I had what it took, it just took time for me to see it. You never left my side, never showed disappointment at my lack of faith. You have been an understanding and forgiving G-d, who strengthens me every day. You gave me the will to continue – how can anyone ever begin to understand the enormity of such a gift?

 

Hashem, you have healed me many times, but this last time, my spirit was so broken that it took a truckload of miracles on your part. Every day that I have is a miracle. To be able to wake up to face a new day without dread, but with joy and gratitude, – to me that is a tremendous miracle. I have a love for life now that I never could have imagined existed. I will never forget where I was, for because of that I appreciate where I am today.

 

Dear Lord, today I brought my 13 year old son with me to pray. Look at him standing there, so tall, so proud, so moved by this experience. You blessed him with life, you gave him me as a mother, and you gave me the inner strength to raise him and his brothers to be God fearing Jews, to practice the way of your People. I hope I never let you down.

 

Look, God, look at him. He is the future of Judaism, he is the way forward, and that is only because of the gifts you have blessed us with. Because of your constancy and strong presence in our lives, he and his brothers are able to believe with a full heart and soul. They have no doubt in their minds about your truth.

 

Thank you oh Lord for the abundance of your gifts, for the scope of your generosity. The mere fact that I stand here, at the Kotel, in Israel, with my eldest son, speaks of how much you have given me. I have been able to bring my son to his land, to soak up the holiness in this place, because you pulled me through, because you healed me, because you helped me to see my inner strength and grow with it.

 

In the zchut (merit) of the blessings you have showered us with, I ask you to bless these people that I am davening for. Some are looking for their beshert, some need a refuah (healing), some just need guidance in their life, and some just need to feel your presence a little stronger in their lives. I wish for them that they feel the way I do, that even if they are faced with challenges, that they know that you, our God, will pull them through. I wish them the knowledge that all that you do is for the good.

 

There are things I want to pray for, for myself, but this time all I ask is continued health and happiness for my family. I know you will send me what I need when the time is right, and that you know what is right for me. Just please give me the continued strength to raise my boys in the right way. They are my life and our future.

 

Hashem, we teach our children that you are everywhere at every time. I think that in the past I have forgotten that, or even taken it for granted. It has been so important to me to come here to thank you, to pray to you, for even though you are around me always, here the power of your shechinah (divine presence) is at its most awesome.

 

When I leave here today, I will back away from the wall as tradition dictates, I will not turn my back on it, just as you have never turned your back on me. I relish your presence in my life, I welcome it. I thank you for the opportunity to bring my son to bask in your glory. I pray that you can read my soul, for my words, well, they feel as if they lack the necessary depth to say what I have needed to say.

 

Dear Lord, hear my prayer, bring us all home, may all of your children find peace. Amen.

 

Your daughter,

Hadassah

Bookmark and Share

Happy Trails

I am blessed beyond belief to be taking my eldest son to Eretz Yisrael next week. This is a gift to him from the family, on the occasion of his recent barmitzvah. He has never been to Israel, and even though I have told him all I have experienced there, he has no idea what he is in for. There is just no way for him to conceive of it. Add to that the fact that he is missing school – its all around good stuff!! It is very hard for me to leave the other 3 behind – but they will be well cared for and they will PG get their chance to go with me at the time of their barmitzvahs.

 

Every time I think of taking him to the Kotel, I cry. I have not been there in so long, yet I strongly feel its pull. The feeling when you have passed through security there, and are standing in the forecourt – how can you describe that to a 13 year old? How can you put words on a presence that is other worldly? The only word I can even think of is magnetism.

 

Of course, me being me, I am not thrilled to have to be on the other side of the Kotel than him. I want to see what he sees, to feel what he feels, I want to be able to experience this with him, as if for the first time. Even though every time I go there I am deeply moved, I am sure that the feeling is never as strong as it was the first time. But I will see in his eyes what he feels, and sense it in my heart.

 

He has spent years learning about his land, his people, the Beit Hamikdash, and for him to put a “face” on the lessons will be amazing. For him, to stand against the Wall and daven will I am sure be a profoundly moving experience – one I hope he remembers for all time. To watch him lay Tefillin there will bring me a completeness that I have hoped for, an assurance that he is safe in the traditions of his ancestors.

 

I am also looking forward to have the chance to daven at the Kotel, to pour out my soul, my gratitude to G-d for bringing me to this point in my life. I am healthy and I am happy, I have 4 children who are the lights of my life and I am surrounded by the most wonderful community a person could hope for.

 

I have plenty of plans for daytrips etc when we are there, including, hopefully, a trip to Amukah (can’t hurt to pray for a shidduch there, right?), Tzfat, Chevron, Efrat and a bunch of other places. We have family to see that we haven’t either seen in years or ever, old friends to meet up with, new friends to make.

 

I guess one thing I am looking forward to is showing him Israel as it really is – not the tourist traps, but the way real people live. I want him to get a real sense of what it means to live in our homeland. I am not sure he can get that on a short trip, but at least it will be a start.

 

Now, I must start packing…..how many pairs of shoes do I need?