I Really Don’t Care
JewishMOM.com is moving.
For 12 years I have spent a chunk of every weekday morning tapping away on my computer with a gorgeous view of the red roofs of Nachlaot, and a hill neighboring the Mount of Olives along the horizon.
It’s been a ridiculous luxury, I know. To have a study of my own (even if it doubles as the family laundry room) in the precious tight spaces of Jerusalem downtown real estate. And now that ridiculous luxury is finally being thrown onto the ash-heap of history.
My 16-year-old Hadas is getting way too grown-up to continue sharing a room with three younger siblings—including her year-old brother who wakes her up at 3 AM with cries for “waaater!” and her 8-year-old sister who enjoys humming a lively tune as she gets dressed for school at 5 AM.
When we told Hadas that she would finally be getting her own room, her first response was, “Great! Can I get a lock?” Hadas needs space and privacy. And she needs it NOW.
Last night Hadas and my husband dissembled the bookshelves that lined the walls of my study for 12 years, and replaced them with a bed. Books will be given away and what’s left will be put into boxes. And over the coming days my computer will be going into permanent exile. The living room? My bedroom?
So it surprises me that my study will no longer be my study, and I really don’t care.
I spent yesterday morning at the hospital getting a suspicious mole removed. Nothing urgent, just something I needed to take care of eventually, so I did.
I got dressed up for the procedure in a shower-cap thingy and a green hospital robe. Then I entered the surgery theater and Malka, the sweetest nurse, attached me to all sorts of wires and then, lickety-split, the surgeon numbed the area and carved away a piece of me.
Wow, that was easy, I thought.
And it was only several hours later, on the bus-ride home with Josh, that I thought about the fact that a piece of my flesh, which had been a part of my body since I was born, was no longer a part of me. Instead of sitting on me, as it had been for the past 4 decades, it was sitting in some pathology lab.
And it sort of surprised me the extent to which a small part of my body had been removed, and I really didn’t care.
My aunt Leora is visiting from Toronto and she brought me a special gift.
My uncle Eric is an expert photographer, and he restored and enlarged an old photograph Leora had found of me and my younger sister with my grandmother Florence, of blessed memory.
I have another photo of my grandma with me that hangs in the upstairs of my home. In that photo, my grandmother is standing beside my parents and us three kids around 35 years ago, as we all say “cheeeeese!”
But this photo Leora gave me is different. In this photo, my grandmother is looking at me and my sister with such a proud smile.
It captures the love, the nachas she felt for us, her lone, long-awaited two granddaughters after the birth of three sons of her own and a small crowd of grandsons.
This photo, I feel, captures a piece of my dear grandmother’s soul.
And that’s why my heart floods with longing and my eyes with tears when I see it.
Rav Arush writes in Garden of Emuna, “The soul is a tiny spark of Hashem within each and every one of us.
“In the non-tangible upper worlds of pure spirituality, the soul is able to bask in the sublime delight of Divine illumination,
“An unfathomable pleasure that makes any physical pleasure seem like darkness and disgust….
“The soul basks in magnificently gratifying Divine light—it needs nothing else.”