The Self-Made Orphan
The man stood trial for the most horrific of crimes: the murder of his own father.
He was brought before the judge, rivers of tears flowing down his cheeks: “Your honor, please have mercy upon me. I am an orphan!”
“What are you talking about?” the judge rebuked him. “You are an orphan because you killed your father!”
That self-made orphan, Rabbi Pincus explains, is every one of us.
I often pass Shayna in the mornings when I am walking Tsofia to gan and she is on her way home from dropping off her kids at the bus stop.
“Mornings are so hectic. I go to sleep too late and have to wake up so early. I am tired the whole day long!” Shayna complained.
I pointed out to her that her with a smile that her name in Hebrew means “sleep” and suggested, “Maybe you could take a nap after you drop off your kids in the morning? When I’m tired, I lie down to rest,” I told her.
“Oh yeah, you are so good at taking care of yourself. But we’re not supposed to sleep away our lives!”
Another self-made orphan.
Every morning for years, the hands-down worst hours of my day were between 6:30 and 9 AM. I went to sleep so late that during those hours I would feel grouchy and hopeless and EXHAUSTED.
I would wake up at 6:30, send my older kids off to school at 7:10, and take my kids to gan at 8:15. Usually I ran an errand or chatted with a neighbor on the way home, which meant I would arrive home around 9 AM at which point I would collapse on the sofa to rest for half an hour.
But for the past few months I’ve had a different plan. I wake up my older kids at 6:30, and then immediately go back to bed until 7 AM. Then I send off my older kids to school, and rest on the sofa from 7:30 to 8 while my younger children eat breakfast and play. It means my kids get to gan closer to 9 AM. But with this method I nearly completely cut out the grouchy, hopeless, exhausted hours of my day. And this late-start approach means I get my day started at 9 AM rather than 9:30!
A self-made orphan no longer.
We are all self-made orphans. But no worries. We’ve got a new year starting next week…And all it takes is a bit of brainstorming and dedication to resurrect your deceased father and make your life better in 5754, IY”H.