My Own, Personal Avodah Zara
Last Tuesday a pedophile threatened my life.
Even a week later, I am still too shaken up to go into the details of what took place.
But I would like to share with you what I have been going through this past week…
In terms of what we’ve done on a practical level, we met with our excellent neighborhood policeman who warned the pedophile and his family that if they speak to us again or even “stick out their tongues at us” they are going to jail. Knowing that we have one of Jerusalem’s best policemen on our side and determined to protect us against this criminal and his family is somewhat comforting.
I also had a long talk with my rabbi who gave me some excellent advice. He instructed me to start working seriously on my emuna and, at the same time, he instructed me regarding some serious steps I need to take to protect myself and my family.
But what I really want to write about is why this is happening to me. Because I think I am quite certain why Hashem has sent me, Chana Jenny Weisberg, this specific, insane nisayon.
Like most people, being well-liked is important to me. But I think that, unlike most people, being well-liked is OVERLY important to me.
Throughout my adult life I have avoided confrontation, conflict, and controversy with fear and trembling. Even at times when I should have spoken up, when I should have protested wrongdoing or injustice, I have bitten my tongue time and time again because, more than anything else, I have lived in fear that if I did really speak my mind, then somebody might get angry at me.
In fact, I now understand that I have elevated my desire to be well-liked into my own personal Avoda Zara, placing my own popularity ABOVE my own conscious as well as above Hashem’s will.
So Hashem’s present to me for my 40th birthday was a death threat.
Hashem decided that the time has finally come to put Chana Jenny Weisberg face to face with a person whose crimes against children are so heinous, so utterly unforgivable, that I would be forced to take a strong stand against him publicly.
And for the past week, I have been facing my worst fears. A neighbor hates me, detests me, and believes that I have ruined his life by complaining to the police about suspicious behavior I witnessed.
And while this has definitely been one of the scariest weeks of my life, I know that Hashem, in his tremendous kindness, is simply giving me something that is quite possibly one of the greatest gifts I have ever received…
Hashem has given me the understanding that sometimes we have no choice but to speak loud and clear against evil.
And if somebody is going to hate me, detest me, and be convinced that I have destroyed his life for the rest of his life for that, so be it.
Image courtesy of Flickr.com user Itinerant Tightwad