Re: My Home Getting Knocked Down

Re: My Home Getting Knocked Down

I love my home, I would love to live in it as long as I need a home to live in.

But it seems that the Jerusalem Municipality has other plans for my family, and around 250 others that live in our section Kiryat Moshe.

First, some history…

In the mid-1950s, the newborn State of Israel needed to find a quick housing solution for the new government’s new employees, so they built around 250 apartments and homes on and around my street. Over the years, although some homes (including ours) have been renovated, many have fallen into disrepair.

So while we enamored residents generally feel that we live in the impossible paradox of a quiet green-filled village in the middle of the city, outsiders (including the urban planners at the Municipality) regard our paradise as a slum and an eyesore desperately in need of a serious upgrade.

Again, I love my home. It’s (almost) big enough for my family.

It’s got a big enough living room to squeeze in a lot of Shabbat guests and my husband’s students.

I love that I live right next door to a shul. On Rosh Hashana, I can literally open my window and hear the shofar blasts.

And above all that, it’s just not fair!

My family lived through 4 years of hell in my old neighborhood, being harassed and threatened and eventually driven out by Nachlaot’s pedophile hordes…until 4 Rosh Chodesh Eluls ago we found this home I adore in a neighborhood I love. Where we finally feel secure. Like my family has experienced its very own, personal Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land.

And now…It looks like sometime over the coming years my home will most probably be on the chopping block of the Municipality.

There are actually positive aspects to this…If our house is knocked down, the builders are promising all of us evacuees bigger homes in the new buildings. And they would pay our rent until the new buildings are built. Not to mention the new, higher buildings would provide much-needed housing for Jerusalem.

But this is SO not what I want to be doing right now. I DO NOT want to move. I DO NOT want to find a new temporary home. I DO NOT want to uproot my kids from OUR HOME.

Yesterday, at my weekly Dance Journey Workshop with Devora, she had us (as always) do a fascinating exercise. She had us pair up with a partner, and instructed one of us to keep her eyes closed while the other one led her blind partner by the hand around the living room.

At first, I did the leading. I took my blind partner straight, then I turned her right to avoid a wall, then I veered her left to avoid an incoming blind person, then straight for a while, and then, whoops, a bookshelf narrowly avoided with a sharp turn right.

Then it was my turn to be blind. Within a few steps, I didn’t know where I was. She turned me this way and that. I had no idea where I was headed. It was nerve-wracking, scary even.

But then I reminded myself what it had been like when I was leading my blind person around, taking her right to avoid the wall, taking a sudden sharp left to steer clear of a quickly approaching bookshelf.

And that made me feel calmer. I might be blind now, but the one leading me is taking care of me. He knows exactly where I need to go.

29 comments

  1. What amazing emuna! I am in a similar sitation. Your choosing to see the positive for yourself and to also care about the other members of am yisrael who will have homes in the area is very inspiring!!!

    • I’m trying…

    • Emese Oseni

      I know, I know how hard it is. In 1964, well after WWII, my family survived the Nazi occupation in Eastern Europe. Our surname was changed (as many Jews used this practice in Eastern Europe to evade the Nazis). I had to leave my country as a teenager, not speaking a word of English to come to Canada. What a life changing event. Sorry about a long-winded story because it is YOU the focus should be on. I will pray for you, dear Chana Jenny. HaShem has something greater for you and your family and children are resilient and will get used to it. I hope you find comfort in our letters to you and feel the warmth and love we’re sending you virtually.

      Shabbat Shalom!

  2. Beth D Berman

    In situations like this, I have visualized Bnei Yisrael traveling in the desert, never knowing if they were stopping for two days, two months, or two years. They learned to have emunah — let go and let G-d, as the saying goes. If they could travel for 40 years, I would say to myself, I could tolerate the coming uncertainty. B’hatzlacha. Hashem has his own reasons…

  3. Jenny, I”m so sorry that you have to grow through this. It’s so hard!!! May Hashem bless you with a big, beautiful , home made especially for you to raise your beautiful family and hosts guests with love and kedusha. And may you quickly see the good in this test.
    Much love and koach!

    • amen! (if anyone has the background to give me this bracha, it’s you. I appreciate it!)

  4. Thank you. I so needed to hear this right now.

  5. Hugs! That is so so hard! (If extra people are moving into the new apartments, i hope they are people who are safe with kids!)

  6. ((((((((Jenny))))))))

    May HaShem bless you with a new home 7 times better. May He fill it with every good thing and so many blessings, there won’t be room for them all.

  7. How insightful to connect the two things. Moving is stressful but having a new fresh place to live in will be something positive to anticipate while enduring the whole process. Hattzlocha rabba and know that your attitude will filter down to your kids. Moving is a great time to de clutter and get rid of things that you have no use for anymore.

  8. Oh my! I’m sorry you’re going through this. I hope you can see the bracha from this situation very soon!!

  9. This is so so beautiful.
    We are blind, in every step of our life, and Hashem is safely leading us around.

  10. Amen to everyone’s blessings, on your behalf, to you, and to all your neighbors, too! It is actually exciting to look forward to.
    May I add, in the spirit of being thankful which I know is one of your wonderful life efforts…how thankful you can be that your family has received ample warning, so you, your husband and your kids can not only (bezH easily) locate a great tempoary abode, but also be emtionally prepared. I am picturing the countless cases of displaced families who are out in a moment’s notice, because of a natural disaster or a fire, etc.

  11. We have been living in the same place for 21 years. Now our landlord is selling the house & we probably have to move. I can really understand what you are feeling. May you find menucha in your new home! Hatzlocha!!

  12. Wow I’m so sorry you have to move. I hope it all goes smoothly. Also, loved the emuna!!

  13. Once someone told me, in the way people sometimes do, that Moshiach was for sure coming on x day. My first thought was NOT NOW! I’m not ready for a move, for uprooting my home, for any change. Change is hard, even if we know it will bring us to something better. I wish your family much hatzlacha during this transition. May it bring you all to a brighter place.

  14. Naomi Elbinger

    That area is really changing with all the pinui-binui, TAMA 38, the light rail, the new high-rise office blocks and the JLM-TA railway. Due to the location, chances are the new apartments will be luxurious and expensive and won’t attract the same kind of people who’ve moved there in the past.
    It’s going to be rather different around there in 5-10 years.
    Another option might be to move out now to a stable community. At least that way you know more about the character of the neighborhood you’re going to live in.
    This would also be a scary move and require a lot of emunah, but hopefully a one-time upheaval rather than five years of uncertainty and upheaval.
    OK. I will stop being Practical Patty now and just let everyone enjoy the message of this awesome post.

  15. Weird that so many people are going through the same thing. Our house got sold too and we couldn’t get another rental so we stayed in someone’s tiny apartment with a family of 8 for two months. BJH we just moved out into a beautiful big house but this too is only temporary. I like the analogy about the Jews in the midbar, it’s just like us!

  16. Hi Jenny

    Well I certainly miss you since you left our street, it is not the same without your family here. I remember your sukkah every year.

    Sorry to hear about your home and hope it will all turn out for the good even though now it may not seem like it now.

    I met your daughters in the shuik on Friday, great to see them.

    Do not know when you were last here, but there are so many changes in this area. So much building going on all the time. Some of the changes are for the better like Gan Tut looks so much better then before.

    I appreciate what you did exposing the pedophiles here, it took a lot of courage to do that.

    Stay strong and do not let this get you down, be well.

  17. Oh I forgot to tell you that I lost my big beautiful house in South Africa when we were attacked by criminals in 1994 and 1995. They were attacking our business there, long story short. We had to flee for our lives and lost a lot of money, a lot of money and our businesses and and and

    However today when I have this little home in Mizcarit Moshe, I feel more blessed and happy then the big house which was really a magnificent old house with 3 fireplaces, real ones. Huge rooms, with high ceilings . well that was yesterday. Do not like to think about it.

    We survived and our daughters who were small were not harmed, and it takes time to recover from it all, but you do. I would never want a big house in Galut ever, with this little house and our famous garden that pleasures all who pass by, this is a million times better then what I had once upon a time, a long time ago, in another land , in another reality.

    So I bless you that you will end up in a home that will bring you great joy and peace.

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