The Remarkable Reason my Daughter Wanted a Camera by Rebbetzin Mina Gordon

The Remarkable Reason my Daughter Wanted a Camera by Rebbetzin Mina Gordon

When my daughter was little
Maybe some thirty years ago
She wanted a camera for her birthday.

She asked so nicely
And explained so sincerely
That she needed it to take pictures now
So she will be able to show her children
What the galus looked like.

I often wonder,
Thirty years later
What her camera would have seen then,
And what her camera would register now
As we stand at the threshold of geulah.

I will not dwell much
On the pictures of thirty years ago
Not now

I would rather prepare an album
To show the children of tomorrow
The last few moments of galus
When we are finally getting it right,
Adding the final bits
To complete the work
Of many generations

Come,
Let us spread out the pictures
As we choose them for our
Galus to geulah album.

Here are the children
Born to mothers who
Weren’t sure they were ready
To increase their family size,
But did anyway.

And here are the long lines of Jews
At the bone marrow registry
Ready to donate bone marrow
So a stranger can live.

And these,
Brave men and women
Each giving a kidney to
A Jew they never met.

Photos of
Communal challah bakes
Lists of Tehilim
Said around the world
Said around the clock.

And of tzedakah collected online,

Copies of the meal rosters
And countless pictures of
Gemachs for every need.

Everyone helps each other
Chessed crossing all boundaries.
Differences between Jews
Are falling aside.

This is a picture of a man
Of strong Lubavitch background
Freedom newly gained
Dancing with gratitude to Hashem,
The ‘oilam’ dances too,
Sharing in his joy
All Torah paths
Are represented,
And eight years did not diminish
The compassion and efforts
Of the Yeshivish world.

Here is a photo,
Of the Western Wall
An elderly Jew in prayer
A number tattooed on his arm
Next to him
A young man with piercings
And tattoos of another ilk
Praying with newfound faith.

Let us pick out pictures of
The ingathering of the Exiles.
The lost Jews that,
With Hashem’s great kindness
Have found their way back home.
The Torah observant sons and daughters
Of the assimilated grandchildren
Of immigrants to the Free World.

The Jews from Eastern Europe
Who, after a seventy-year sleep
Come home to the land of their dreams.

The Anussim of Spain and Portugal
Now coming out of hiding.

Jews of Ethiopia
Nurturing a vision
Of two and a half millennium.

Now here are the pictures
That I find most special:

The crowds standing at the Kotel
Singing.
The night time and predawn Slichos,
Or as the sun is going down
At the conclusion of a fast.

And from Chol Hamoed
The scene of countless Cohanim
Blessing the people together as one.

Finally, the precious pictures
Of young soldiers,
Marching out to defend
The People of Israel
Not with songs of violence
Or of idolizing human might,
But with songs of faith
And trust in the Almighty
Praising His Holy Name.

Surely this is a worthy album
Which my daughter’s children
Can show their children
So they will know
How their grandparents
Brought the geulah.

Rebbetzin Mina Esther Gordon grew up in Chicago but has been living in Melbourne, Australia since 1979, sent there with her husband as emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

11 comments

  1. It takes an insightful eye to notice all the good in the world and remind everyone idf it. Well done!

  2. This brought me hope. In a world of so much pain she let the beauty shine through. Just what I needed to read. Thank you Chana J and Rebb Mina!!!

  3. Absolutely beautiful!

  4. Devora Sinton

    I love this so much!!! In our struggles in life we may we loose sight of this picture that we are creating every single moment… Ashreichem Yisrael!!! May we merit to see Geulah soon!!

  5. savta ima

    Took my breath away! So much beauty and truth and emunah and hope intertwined.

  6. Chani Zirkind

    That was fantastic and hopeful. Thanks for writing this piece.

  7. This was so beautiful. I liked specifically the idea of not idolising human might. Actually, that’s the problem with pictures: you can only see the external and the success, rather than trying and failing (because we don’t create our success, we can only try). In pictures we see a beautiful house, the well-dressed children, the happy couple, the beautiful spiritual location or ceremony etc etc. What about the single girl who went on dates for 20 years because she too wanted to be a wife and have children? The person with a long-term illness who went to doctor after doctor looking for healing? The mother who spent hours and hours encouraging her failing child? The wife who worked so so hard to make a happy marriage with a husband with a difficult emotional history? The bachur with ADHD who struggled and struggled all the way through yeshiva despite feeling inferior? All that may be invisible to the lens and maybe we never see the results in this world but they are also what brings the geula. I wish we could take pictures of them too.

  8. You are right, Keren, but isn’t that exactly what we’ll see when we look at those pictures? All of the effort and struggle that went into getting there? When the geulah will be complete all of the pain and angst will fall away and we will see the breathtaking view from the summit.
    I think everyone can create their personal ‘album” of geulah-bringing- moments in their lives whether they are moments of inspiration revelation or culmination of a struggle.

  9. What a thought provoking story. Thank you for sharing this story. I will think about what I would put in my album.

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