What I’m REALLY Nervous About

What I’m REALLY Nervous About

The first thing I was nervous about was polio.

Scientists discovered the polio virus swimming around in sewage in the South of Israel in May. And throughout August, polio dominated Israeli headlines as close to 200,000 Israeli children were vaccinated in an intense emergency campaign to prevent spread of the virus to humans. Things heated up when the virus was detected in sewage in the North of Israel and in 85 sewage samples around the country. Two weeks ago I heard that families were waiting hours to get the vaccine…

But then I completely forgot about polio because I was nervous about the War.

Last week the US was planning to attack Syria to punish them for using chemical weapons on their citizens, and Syria was threatening to attack Israel in response. The Israeli media reported that there were pushing and violent outbursts in the long lines for gas masks. Last week, my shoulder muscles felt a kind of sore I hadn’t felt in over a decade, when another blood-thirsty Arab tyrant named Saddam Hussein sent me running to wait in line to get our gas masks. But what really made me even more nervous than the headlines was watching this video instructing me how to put together our family’s gas masks. How on earth would I figure out the complicated instructions for the different gas masks provided for my family members–especially during an attack, G-d forbid. Oy vey…

But by Sunday I had totally forgotten about the War.

On Sunday I was in the market waiting to pay for 2 pounds of mushrooms when a grandmother hugging a pile of bug-free (and pesticide-full) lettuce and cilantro started yelling at the salesman that she was in a rush.

“What’s the matter, Geveret?! Do you think there’s going to be a war? Obama cancelled the war! There’s nothing to be nervous about.”

And the Geveret responded, “But Rosh Hashana! Rosh Hashana is coming!”

And since then, like all of us, I’ve been nervous about Rosh Hashana…

And how could I not be nervous? Three straight days! 7 meals stuffed into my fridge and freezer! Which tsimmes recipe? The same brisket recipe that I make every year or something new? Splurge on the “Chag Sameach” napkins or get two colors to mix? Buy desserts or make myself and risk bringing on those Arab-tyrant-sore shoulder muscles?

And then this morning I received the following Email, which read: “How one quick click could inspire you to change your life.” And it led me to DeathClock.com

What a scary site…Put in your date of birth, your BMI, whether you are a smoker or not, and in one click DeathClock.com tells you your estimated date of death.

The home page reads: “Welcome to the Death Clock(TM), the Internet’s friendly reminder that life is slipping away… second by second. Like the hourglass of the Net, the Death Clock will remind you just how short life is.”

Not polio.
Not the War.
Not 3 days of Yom Tov.

Now I’m nervous about Rosh Hashana. Not the tsimmes and the brisket. But about approaching the Day of Judgment.

Life is fleeting. Second by second it’s slipping away.

If I had died last night, would I have been satisfied with how I’d spent my last day? I’m really not sure…

Everyday could be our last day, G-d forbid.

And Rosh Hashana is our reminder to start being nervous about THAT so that, IY”H, we and our families will be blessed with the sweetest of years and lives.

Chag sameach and shana tova to all of you JewishMOMs.


  1. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling- couldn’t have said it better myself. May it be a good and sweet year for all of am yisrael.

  2. That whole piece could have come out of my own mouth. I totally identify with everything you said. My mother in law said yesterday, the men are talking about war and the women are shopping [for Rosh Hashana].

  3. Oh yeah, it’s time you Israelis get to see what Yom Tov is REALLY like in America!

  4. This article calmed my nerves. I’m feeling better all the while. How our anxiety travels from fear to fear, this we all share. It’s our nervousness that keeps us out of trouble, I’m sure of it. Too afraid to behave badly. Only trying to stay ahead of negative judgements, and when your beloved parents are gone, the judgements continue!

    Wish I had my family together again, I owe them so much that cannot be repaid. G-d willing my adult children will continue the goodness we were taught as children and respect for our names, our family, our tribe. It is hard and so wonderful to be Jewish, I choose it though I was born into it. Lucky to me Jewish Moms, luckiest of all.

    Good New Year to all of us, health, love, parnassus, and time to enjoy it. Remember, these are the good days!

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