Friday, October 25, 2013


This year on Hashanah Rabba, one of the holiest days of the year, we were fortunate to receive a beautiful gift from G-d.  My husband came home from morning prayers and told me there is a visitor in Temecula for the second part of the holiday of Succot.  He is visiting with his wife from the Upper West side of Manhattan, and they may be joining us for the meal later that afternoon.  That’s unusual I thought, who comes to Temecula for the holiday and doesn’t ask to join for a meal or for a place to sleep?  Later that day, a midst the chaos of preparing for a three day holiday, the most beautiful couple walks in.  I am a bit embarrassed wearing my “I’m stuck in the kitchen all day clothing”, yet they seem genuinely happy to be joining us.  Unfortunately, I did not have a whole lot of time to speak with them, but thankfully my Mother-in-Law was there and they shared many stories.  They were in Temecula because his college roommate was getting married on Shabbat, and they were staying in a winery close enough to the wedding that they could walk.  After the meal, this beautiful woman gave me a hug and started to cry.  “Ask your Mother-in-Law why I needed to spend the holiday in Temecula so I could meet you today.”

I looked at my Mother-in-Law and asked, “What did she tell you?”

This is the story as my Mother-in-Law remembers it…

When they first got married, they went on their honeymoon to a very beautiful Island.  They went bungee jumping and something went terribly wrong.  She crashed into a rock and broke her back and neck, and was unconscious.  There were no adequate hospitals nearby, so they chartered a plane back to New York.  The doctors there put her through many tests and came back with very bad news.  She had broken almost every bone in her body and was absolutely brain dead.  It was time for her new husband to say good bye.  After a few months, her fingers and toes began to move.  The doctor was quick to assure her husband that it means nothing, it is just reflexes.  A few months later she woke up.  After many more tests, the doctor informed them that although she far surpassed his expectations, it would not get better then this.  She will never walk and never have children.

She then told my Mother-in-Law,  I came to Temecula today to tell you this.  I walked into your son’s house, pregnant with my second child with one message.  There is only One healer, and He is Hashem!! 

The reason I am sharing this story with you, is because my story is your story too.  My heartache is yours, my little miracles are yours, and my big miracle will be yours too.  I can see your actions, and how they have impacted the lives of my family, I see amazing kindness and generosity.  I see that you are truly remarkable, and we are the lucky ones being cradled by you.  I cannot find the right words to express my gratitude.  When I share my good days with you, I can see in your eyes that you are as happy as I am.  When I share the hard days, you are in pain with me.  I hardly know some of you, and your care is so real, so sincere, it brings tears to my eyes.  When you stop me on the street to ask how we are and to give us blessings, I know it is not just words, I know you mean it from the deepest part of your soul, and it moves me to tears. 

Then I wonder, how does all this look to G-d?  This outpouring of love from all over the world?  It must be absolutely beautiful.  Our ancestors must be looking at us with so much pride.

This brings me hope.  Hope for a miracle, hope for my family, and hope for the thousands of families just like mine. 

Hope is an interesting thing.  It has an energy and excitement accompanying it.  It makes us feel happy, positive, and brave.  It is the opposite of being frozen with fear.  Hope spurs us into action.  Hope is not a luxury, it is an absolute necessity. 

[Some feel that being hopeful, is being in denial of your situation.  You are not being realistic about your future.  Doctors look as us with pity.  For all of their efforts to help us understand our future, we are just not intelligent enough to get it.  When we will be depressed, they will have succeeded in doing their job well, for now we will understand how our future looks.]

We do not live our lives to make our Doctors happy.  There is only One healer, and He is Hashem!!  We are strong believers in Hashem.  We have always been, it is deeply ingrained in our DNA. 

The day we received our diagnosis, was to say the least, a traumatic day.  Our long drive home was silent, cold, and fearful.  When I finally could speak, I asked Yitzi, “What have you always wanted to do, but haven’t done yet?”  He answered immediately, as if he was thinking the same thing.  “We never wrote a Torah or built a Mikvah.”  (Ritual Bath).  Silly me, I actually thought he was also going to say ‘take you to Hawaii’.

Well we have begun dream number one.  We have started writing a Torah.  We are calling it “Torat Chaim”  The Torah of Life.  Please join us in bringing this dream to life.

We thank you for your prayers, your generosity, and your love.  May this year bring to all of us great healing, joy and laughter, and of course – hope.