What I Was Thinking about on Rosh Hashana

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This is what Rebbe Nachman teaches us about the way the world works:

Step 1: You yearn for something (for a decent job, for a bigger home, for a healthy baby, for a husband who appreciates you, for children who get along)

Step 2: You don’t get what you want

Step 3: You yearn and yearn even more for what you want

Step 4: You still don’t get what you want

Step 5: You yearn and yearn and yearn even more

Step 6: As a result of all this yearning, you change. You are transformed into a vessel to contain G-d’s light and blessing

Step 7: You get the job you wanted at your kids’ school, you move into the 3-bedroom of your dreams, you give birth to twins (a boy and a girl!), your formerly mentally-impaired husband finally realizes that he married G-d’s gift to wifedom, and your children start spending their afternoons sharing conspiratorial whispers in their new “secret clubhouse” behind the sofa rather than chasing after each other with forks and a murderous glimmer in their little eyes.

This was also the story of our infertile Matriarchs, the first of whom, Sarah Imenu, we read about on Rosh Hashana. Their life story sounded something like this:

Step 1: “G-d, please give me a baby”

Step 2: “Not now…”

A few years pass…

Step 3: “But G-d, I really, really want a baby!”

Step 4: “No, not now…”

Many more years pass by…

Step 5: “G-d, please please please, I really really really want a baby NOW!”

Step 6: As a result of all this yearning, the women named Sarah, Rivkah, and Rachel were transformed into our Imahot, our Matriarchs, and some of the greatest spiritual giants who have ever walked the face of the Earth. This yearning transformed their souls into mighty vessels to contain the unprecedented light that G-d was about to send down to their wombs.

Step 7: They became the world’s first Jewish moms.

This Torah from Rebbe Nachman really got me thinking all of Rosh Hashana. It reminded how I also prayed for each of my children before I became pregnant with them, and when I was pregnant with them. How I yearned for them!

But maybe not enough?

Because when I’m going through the humdrum, everyday details and routine of my mothering life, I find it difficult to experience, to perceive the light that my children bring to my life.

So on Rosh Hashana, I prayed that G-d should transform me into a proper vessel to contain the light that He has sent me- my 5 precious children. I prayed and prayed that I should feel the light my children bring to my life, as our Matriarchs did, and that I will be able to contain this light and channel it into more joy, more love, more patience, more giving, more faith as I raise these 5 precious and incomparable gifts, products of infinite Divine light and mercy.

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