Something Cool About My New Glasses
Last week, I took Moriah to choose out new glasses, after her old lenses got chipped three (THREE!) times during recess.
The French storeowner looked at me, and then said to Moriah, “I see your mother likes the newest styles, and we actually are having a sale on the newest fashion in glasses over here…Come look.”
I had no idea what the storeowner was referring to when he said I like the newest styles. Since there’s nothing about me or the way I dress which would imply in any way that I am stylish. Maybe this was French flattery, to help make a sale?
After Moriah had chosen out her new glasses, the storeowner asked me when I bought my glasses.
“In August, maybe?” I told him.
“Because, you know, we just got a shipment of the newest styles from France two weeks ago, and your glasses are the new style that everyone will be wearing soon,” and he showed me a pair of Ralph Lauren frames that looked exactly like my glasses.
The funny thing is that these are the glasses I have been wearing for the past 23 years. Once every few years my glasses break, and I choose a new pair that looks as much as possible like my old pair.
My glasses are so old, I realized, they are new again.
My 18-year-old daughter, Hadas, has been doing national service this year teaching Judaism to hundreds of secular elementary schoolkids near Tel Aviv.
She LOVES what she is doing. The kids are incredibly sweet, and appreciative. When Hadas and the other national service girls walk into the classroom, the kids cheer for them, chanting their names, “HA-DAS! HA-DAS!”.
During the Unity Shabbat, two Shabbats ago, Hadas and her friends helped run a Shabbat meal for 80 secular Israelis in a city park, and before that they ran a challah-baking gathering for 5 kindergarten classes and their parents.
At one point during the challah-baking, they were having difficulty getting a video started. And the person in charge whispered to Hadas, “Hadas, everyone’s waiting! Get up and say something!!”
So Hadas got up in front of around 200 children and parents, and she told them that Shabbat is the favorite day of her week. She loves the holiness of Shabbat, she loves praying at synagogue. But when Hadas explained that what she loves most of all about Shabbat is sitting around the table with her family, she saw such a look of longing in the eyes of so many parents in the audience. One mother even began to cry silently.
When was the last time, Hadas understood, these families had sat down together without distractions– eema, abba, the children. No phones. No TV. No computers. Just the glow of Shabbat, and a family enjoying chicken soup and each other.
Like Judaism itself, an idea so old, it became new again.