Throughout our lives, people come and go. Each one has something to teach us if we are open to learning. I believe that is such an important quality that I know that I have, and I am so grateful for it. Those who cannot learn are those who think that have all the answers, and that they are always right.
I loved being in school and always sat in the front so that I wouldn’t miss anything. It started when I was 5. I was put in the back row until the teacher told my mother that I could not see the blackboard. I’ll never forget the day I got my first pair of glasses. The optometrist pointed to a building and asked me if I could see anything on the roof. He knew of course that I couldn’t. Then he placed the glasses on my nose and asked again…I was so shocked to see things that I didn’t know were there. One of the happiest days of my life. Of course that didn’t last long because a few years later, after being made fun of for wearing glasses, all I saw in the mirror was a female Groucho Marx without the mustache…big nose and glasses. But that’s not important for this part of my story.
Back to teachers…let me jump ahead to today. I’ll jump back and forth as memory serves.
The Search continues…
When I was 16, something happened that formulated how, right or wrong, I would make many decisions throughout my life. Living in an unhappy home is hard on kids and causes stress. Stress negatively affects the body and mine, like so many, resulted in stomach pains. My dad, who also suffered from the same ailment, sent me to his “big stomach doctor” who after a battery of tests told me that I had a nervous stomach. I could have told him that. Instead of considering the cause, or asking how things were at home, he prescribed some pills for anxiety. As he was writing the prescription, his head kept falling forward as if he were falling asleep; he was overweight and he looked sick. I remember standing outside his office with the prescription in my hand thinking, “How can he help me if he’s so sick?” How did I, at that early, dare to question the status quo? Who questions doctors? I tore up the prescription and decided to look for another way. I can’t remember if my parents asked me what the doctor said, but I don’t remember saying a word.
The soil in which we are raised can dictate who we will become.
Some children accept everything that they are told and others question everything. Some kids take things apart wanting to know how they are made and struggle to put them back together. Some have a thirst for the eternal “why” which seems to have been implanted within them from birth.
The first time I ran away from home was when we lived on Esplanade St. in Montreal. I was six. It was 1953. I was tired of being told that I had to go to bed at six o’clock. It was unjust; it was unfair. I reached the end of the block, turned around, and ran home just in time for bed. Psychology teaches that the soil in which our characters are developed stems from our early years up to the age of 6 and from that age, I was a runner, an explorer.
January 30, 2024
I guess today is as good as any to begin. I was asked yesterday what am I doing to keep looking so young. After I pointed up to the heavens, she said, “How can God help you do that?” How could I have answered that question in the few minutes I had? That’s when I thought, maybe it’s time to start posting what I have written about my journey through life. I have learned that we need to balance body, mind, soul, and spirit. They are all gifts from the Creator and we have one life to do it in. What lies beyond is not my concern right now. How can we be the best of who we were created to be and that is a journey.
We are all on a journey. Some have little impact on people, some a lot, and some none. I have always wanted to make a large impact on people but that is not in my hands; it’s in God’s.
I invite you to come with me on my journey. My desire is that my story will touch you at the soul level.
I have never been given the opportunity for much fanfare in my life. I guess that this is what has prepared me to fulfill my purpose, my destiny. I have always felt a strong sense of destiny, of purpose, small as it may be in comparison to people like the President of the United States, but it is mine, nonetheless. I remember my first ballet recital. I was chosen as the lead duck. I have had many circumstances where I was the lead duck whether I wanted it or not. On the morning of the concert, my mother told me that I had to have my tonsils out. No discussion. No apology. I never found out who replaced me as lead duck and I always wondered if the ballet was ruined.
I am so sorry that I have not kept my personal website updated since my rabbi passed away in 2020 and I have been working diligently to keep our congregation alive and well.
Click here to listen to my Hanukkah message for this season 5784.
May we all live to see better days for Israel and our people as well as the world.
My desire is that we might have a renewed thirst to learn God’s life-giving principles from our Torah, May they teach us how to live a fulfilled life and thrive throughout these difficult times.