Hey! Where’s My Orange Juice with Ice?

Hey! Where’s My Orange Juice with Ice?

Last night I watched Lori Palatnik’s newest video “Everything Happens to Me!”, and I’ve been thinking about it and discussing it with my husband ever since. Lori tells a deeply troubling story, about a man who almost died from a heart attack on a flight she was on, and how the other passengers were, for the most part, focused on how this unfortunate man’s medical emergency inconvenienced THEM– since it meant that there were no refreshments served on the flight and that there was a delay getting off the plane.

What really got to me about this video is that I would love to say that if I was on that flight I would have been like Lori the tsaddekes, fully focused on reciting Psalms for the person who had had the heart attack. But the truth is that, even if I read a chapter or two of Tehillim, I’m pretty sure that there’s a part of me that silently would have been just as bad as those jerky passengers. “OK, I’m sorry this man, like, had a heart attack, but I paid a lot of money for this flight. And I was looking forward to that Tropicana orange juice with ice and peanuts!” followed by “A DELAY? I desperately NEED get home and into a normal bed…I’m exhausted!” etc. etc.

When I mentioned how I was beating myself up over this video to my friend, the Tanya teacher, she comforted me. She explained to me that this battle– the battle between our animal soul and our Divine soul–between selflessness and selfishness, is just part and parcel of being a human being. It is something to be aware of but not something to beat myself up over. Because no matter how many battles I win, this war will never end. Since these warring voices in my head between saying those Tehillim and grumbling over that Tropicana orange juice with ice is the essential, ongoing challenge of human existence.

But don’t despair, she instructed me. As a JewishMOM who faces these battles every waking hour of every day (the battle between my rest and her scraped knee, between my telephone call and his cup of apple juice, between my Emails and their sink-full of cereal bowls) I am in intense training to become a champion, a fierce warrior on the front lines of this war that will never end…Just like Lori Palatnik.
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4 comments

  1. Now you’ve got me thinking about Tropicana orange juice, which I drank every morning of my childhood. Fortunately, there is some really refreshing juice in my makolet…

    On a different note, thank you for defining that never-ending, all-pervasive inner war, which is not a personal flaw, but a challenge.

  2. I LIKE THIS LORI PERSON

  3. I was recently on a plane which turned out to have a dangerous malfunction in the engine (in air). B’h we were able to land and stayed safe. After landing I was amazed to hear many people, secular, dati leumi and hareidi alike, complaining on their cellphones about what chutzpah it was on the part of the airline that they “made us” have to land and to wait for a new plane. After we had just been saved from what could have been an absolute catastrophe! It’s amazing how hard it is to be grateful (I’m sure we are all guilty of that).

  4. Thanks for this as i have been struggling myself with this very question…for us in the southern hemisphere we just had our winter school holidays where we went to the most beautiful rugged WARM coast for 2 weeks. Came home to a thud hearing about Rav Eliyashiv, ztzl and wondering how i can enjoy giving over holiday tidbits when the Gadol haDor was just nifter and now we are entering one of the saddest times of our calendar. I heard a beautiful idea by the late Rav Pincus, ztl where he discuses how every yid needs to have 2 pockets in his heart…one to hold the pain and discomfort that we often experience and the other for our joys!

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