Sunday, January 27, 2008

Appreciating what you have

I recently spoke to a friend about my writing, and said that I had run out of things to write about. She said just write about things that happen to you. At the time, I thought nothing interesting happens in my boring life. Of course the next day something did happen ....

On a Friday morning, I took a call from a heavily accented Russian lady. Can I come for shabbos she said. It was a contact my husband had made from an email list he subscribes to. I was kind of perplexed, normally we discuss these things first. But something in her voice sounded desperate. So I said OK, as long as you don't mind sleeping in the same room as the kids. Fine she said....Well, I thought she wouldn't turn up like many others we have asked.

One hour before Shabbos, a large middle-aged lady rings our bell. The first thing she says is you have saved me from Arabs. A rather shocking statement....It turns out that the lady is homeless, and is currently living in an Arab hostel. Being Jewish she didn't want to spend a Shabbos in the company of Arabs. Apparently there are no cheap Jewish-owned hostels in Jerusalem.

She was so appreciative of being with Jews, a family, hot food and her own room (my son gave his room up). She had virtually noone to turn to - no husband, kids or family. After she left, I realized how ungrateful we all are for what we have in our lives. We have a beautiful home, but I often feel depressed about not getting out. We have 5 kids, but they frequently drive us 'meshugah'. How lucky we are.....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I often think about the word "patience".

When I was in hospital, being a "patient" took a lot of patience. You called for a nurse or a doctor, and maybe someone would arrive a few hours later. As one Israeli surgeon bluntly put it, if you don't shout loud in a hospital you die! I will never forget the sweet nurse who when I asked to be taken to the toilet said, "but you went yesterday...''.

In Israel, everyone says "savlanut" - have patience. But the word comes from the verb ''lisbol", which means to suffer. To me this is the real meaning of patience. Everyone says to me, you might get better over time. This requires a lot of patience on my behalf, and yes, a lot of suffering.

Unfortunately, I don't seem to have been born with an abundance of patience. So my question is, where can I find patience. Can I buy it in a shop in Jerusalem? Can I purchase it online? Will it just begin to grow on its own? Any answers please ....

Of course I really know that having "patience" comes from pure faith. So this is obviously a task I have been given to work on.