Reflections on Rivka bat Yael: The Miracle of a Boring Day


After my last mailing about Rivka bat Yael Razel, I was flooded with Emails from mothers all over the world saying that they were praying for little Rivki and requesting updates about her condition.

I apologize that it will be hard for me to answer every Email personally, but as of today Rivki’s doctors at Hadassah Hospital’s ICU are hesitantly optimistic. Rivki is currently being kept in a medically-induced coma for several days in order to enable her brain optimal healing for the long road to recovery ahead, but this morning her doctors allowed Rivki to partially exit the coma in order to check her condition, and thank G-d she began moving a little bit– which is a hopeful sign.

This all means that Rivki’s condition is stabilizing but she is still in critical condition. These early days are critical for Rivki’s long-term prognosis, and the parents are begging us to continue praying every day for RIVKA BAT YAEL.

I have to say that I have rarely seen such a tremendous outpouring of concern and prayer for a sick person. Yesterday I sent all of my girls with Rivki’s name to add to their class’ list of people in need of prayer, but  by the time my girls got to school Rivki’s name had already been written on every single board in the school by girls who had heard about Rivki’s accident on the radio and from the newspaper! In the merit of all these sincere prayers,  May G-d bless little Rivki with a speedy and complete recovery!

This morning I turned the corner on my way home from Moriah’s nursery school, and I began to cry. And then a lead weight flew out of nowhere directly onto my lungs. Hyperventilation, call the ambulance! Mother freaking out here. A mother crossing the street through the middle of rush hour traffic, finally feeling the full weight of this surreal and tragic week.

This past Tuesday morning I woke up and my top concern was how I was going to get through that long school-less day with my bored, fighting kids, but by 9 AM that didn’t even rank in my top 100 worries. By 8 AM I had heard that Moriah’s good friend and nursery school classmate Rivki Razel was in critical condition in Hadassah Hospital following a freak accident, and a few minutes later Josh told me that my mother-in-law’s wonderful, incredible mensch of a husband, Peter, has a tumor in his pancreas.

So since Tuesday morning, that’s what’s been going on. And I keep on thinking one thing over and over…

I keep on thinking that the greatest blessing in life and also the one that we tend to take for granted more than any other in the world is the unsurpassed blessing of a boring day.

Today, how I long for a boring Thursday morning, like last Thursday morning, when I dropped Moriah off at the Rachel v’Leah Nursery School with its 26 healthy little girls watching the new goldfish and doing puzzles and looking at books in the reading corner, and then had my weekly post-drop-off chat with Rivki Razel’s grandmother about our Shabbat plans as we walked together up Betsalel Street.

And how I long for one of those boring, regular weekly Emails from my mother-in-law about the canoe trip she and Peter went on together, accompanied by a photo of a Canadian loon couple with their baby.

The miracle of a boring day. The miracle of rolling out of bed in the morning able to breathe, able to speak, able to walk. The miracle of a sturdy house with four standing walls. And the incomparable miracle of a bunch of healthy children to dress, feed cornflakes to, and to greet when they walk in through the door and throw their backpacks for the thousandth time plop into the middle of the front hall that afternoon.

Please G-d, please G-d, bless me and all of us Jewish moms with the miracle of boring days, and the wisdom to appreciate them when we have them, and not just when they’ve slipped away.

photo courtesy of user freeparking


  1. luna behar

    Hello I am so happy to hear about Rivkis recovery I am from Miami and I am praying for. It is so true that we have to thank G-d every day for our boring days. I love you’re emails please keep sending them

  2. Wow! Well said! Thank you for your insightful and inspiring emails.

  3. Ayalah Haas

    Thank you, Jenny, for writing your heartfelt thoughts. I, too, cannot stop thinking of little Rivka and her whole family at this time.

    Please would you give us Peter’s (the mensch) full Jewish name so we may daven for him as well?

    In the words of Rav Shalom Brodt; May the suffering of the Jewish People end once an for all.

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