When the Distinguished Rabbanit Saw the Spit Up

When the Distinguished Rabbanit Saw the Spit Up

Over the last few months, I’ve been feeling burnt out–with my kids, with the house. So I’ve been seeking out inspirational gung-ho mothers who can give me a JewishMOM boost.

Yesterday, at a neighborhood class, I had the honor of meeting one such inspirational woman, Rabbanit Mazal Amar, the wife of Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi. Rabbanit Mazal has dedicated the last 4 decades to raising her 12 children, caring for her home, and being a devoted wife to her distinguished husband–and she wouldn’t want it any other way.

At the class, Rabbanit Mazal told us about an experience that took place when she was on a flight overseas a few weeks ago. She noticed that people were coming over to the woman sitting next to her–the pilot, the people in first class, other passengers. Intrigued, Rabbanit Mazal asked the woman sitting next to her simply, “Who are you?” It turned out that Rabbanit Mazal was sitting next to one of Israel’s most highly respected and famous news interviewers.

Rabbanit Mazal had never heard of her. But they ended up having a long heart-to-heart about what it’s like being a woman and mother. The famous interviewer shared that she has 3 children, and when she returns home from work to home, she feels like she is leaving a nice warm bath and dunking into an icy one.

And then she asked Rabbanit Mazal, “You seem so remarkably calm! How is it possible that a mother of 12 could be so calm?”

And Rabbanit Mazal told her, “I’ll tell you the secret: when you know what your role in life is, and your purpose in life, and live in accordance with your truth, then that enables a person to feel calm. That is how I feel about my life as a wife and mother and Jewish woman.”

Later on in yesterday’s class, I heard a very strange noise–like a janitor was vigorously splashing entire buckets of water onto the ground behind me. When I (and everyone in the class) twisted around to see what was going on, we saw a mother holding a young baby–noisily spitting up remarkable quantities of milk onto the floor. My babies also used to spit up a lot after I nursed them–but this was a whole different kettle of fish–and all over the sparkling clean synagogue floor.

Instead of grimacing at the spit up all over entrance to the synagogue, or ignoring it, Rabbanit Mazal reacted in a way that truly surprised me. She smiled–with glee! And she said to all of us, “This is part of growing up! This is our role! This is our life’s purpose! This is the sweetest thing in the universe!

“Cherish it, Eema’le, cherish every moment.”


  1. Shulamis Silverman


  2. Made me cry. I think I’m experiencing burn out and didn’t even realize it. I’m going to keep that line where I can see I. “Cherish it Eema’la. Cherish every moment.”

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