What I Heard a London JewishMUM Saying to her Kids

What I Heard a London JewishMUM Saying to her Kids

Josh and I had a fantastic mini-vacation in London sightseeing and enjoying the hospitality and company of our hosts, Rachel and Stuart Fink of Hendon, in the heart of London’s vibrant Jewish community.
At Shabbat lunch, I asked a fellow guest, an American mother and teacher who’s been in the UK for almost 2 decades, how living in England is different.
“For frum families,” she said, “I think it’s the same here. For the mothers, for the kids. The only major difference,” she added with a smile, “is that we Americans serve dessert and the hot drink together, and in England we absolutely must wait until after dessert to get our hot drink, no matter how desperate I am for one!”
Another shocking difference I noticed is that in England, children drive themselves to school, while their mothers sit in the passenger seat. Or at least that was the mistaken impression that caused my heart to jump more than once while in London, until I reminded myself, again, that English drivers sit on the “wrong” side.
A trip highlight for me was seeing all those English JewishMUMs. I live in a largely Israeli neighborhood, where a day could easily pass without my seeing another English-speaking mother.
And there, in London, JewishMUMs were over the place. Everywhere I looked. Pushing their babies down the street in strollers (my apologies: in pushchairs), waiting in the line for challah wearing knitted hats with furry pompoms (love those!), or sitting in the passenger seat while their 3rd graders drive themselves to school:)
It was an important reminder for me to see the multitude of English-speaking JewishMUMs there, to actually see with my own eyes the women who open their phones while waiting in the grocery line to read a little word of inspiration.
One of those English JewishMUMs I saw was a young mother of 3 small children whom Josh and I sat near to when we went out for hamburgers on Thursday night. The mother looked a bit tired, it had clearly been a long day.
And then I overheard that mother say to her kids, “OK, now I want each of you to tell me something nice that happened to you this week.”
Here were these little kids, eating their chicken fingers and french fries (pardon me: chicken fingers and chips) with lots of ketchup. And here was this mother, despite her long day, trying to lift them up, above the food–to gratitude.
And that young mother reminded me of a beautiful idea written by Nechumelle Jacobs (also of London):
The numerical value of:
Home (bayit)=412
heart (lev)=32
And therefore, when a mother puts her heart into her family, she and her children will have not just a house. They will have 444, Mikdash, the Holy Temple itself.

One comment

  1. Bs’d
    Cute!

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