Meet our New Puppy, Emma Chofesh

Meet our New Puppy, Emma Chofesh

This seder night, out of the blue, all of my kids united together in a supremely-sneaky afikomen maneuver. No pet dog, no afikomen.
But I was completely against it. I don’t like dogs. I don’t like how they smell, how they jump on you, how they need to be walked and fed, and taken care of. I’ve got enough going on in my home and in my life without a dog in the mix. Especially now with everyone home.
So this seder night I said “No!” And the kids held out for a full 20 minutes. Trying to convince me this way and that way. But I didn’t budge. Eventually, we somehow got the afikomen back. And that was that, I thought.
But it wasn’t.
After Pesach, the pleas for a dog continued, especially from my 20-year-old, Hallel. So last week I made a list of all my fears about getting a dog: centering around how in a few months when my kids lost interest in the dog, I would be left taking care of it, and I hadn’t even wanted the thing in the first place!! So I decided to write up a contract, which Hallel signed, agreeing to take full responsibility for the dog, for its entire life.
So, last Wednesday, Hallel and Moriah took the bus up to near Kiryat Shmona, to the kibbutz where Hallel lived when she was a national-service girl last year. And they brought back a 5-week-old puppy, born to a border collie Hallel bonded with last year (the father’s an Australian shepherd).
The kids named the puppy Emma Chofesh. Emma after my brother and sister-in-law’s beloved dog who disappeared last month, and whom they and my nephews are mourning very much. And Chofesh because Hallel once heard of a dog named Chofesh, and she thought that if she ever had a dog that’s the name she would give it. But this name is an especially good fit because Chofesh also means “vacation” and this dog was born during the Corona Chofesh, as well as freedom, because that’s something that’s very important to Hallel!
Anyway, surprise surprise, I (and of course my kids) are completely smitten with our new puppy. For me, this puppy is retriggering all sorts of wonderful feelings reminiscent of bringing home a newborn. And I’m looking forward, when she gets older, to go on walks with her. And to have her be our family’s dog.

In addition our wonderful new puppy is also reminding me of so many other times in my life when I fought change, but it turned out to be the source of great blessing in my life.
Like when my husband asked me to marry him, and I wasn’t sure…
Like after we got married, B”H, and I was so afraid of becoming a mother…
Or like (lehavdil) at the beginning of this 7-week lockdown, which I thought would turn my home into a war zone, but which (despite the significant challenges involved) has served as an opportunity to learn (as one JewishMOM commenter put it so perfectly) to like the people I love.
On so many occasions in my life, I’ve discovered great and unexpected blessings lying right beyond my comfort zone. Which reminds me of this new puppy’s name: Emma Chofesh. Or, in Hebrew, אם החופש, the mother of freedom.


  1. Your words accurately describe a recent transformation of my own, from fighting change for the past few years to be’H a source of great blessing. I was so against it, with a strong iron fist, only to make a decision overcoming my will for others. (getting it down to the bare basic essentials of life during corona helped give me a deeper understanding) The message in your story is very encouraging. thank for sharing 🙂 and enjoy the puppy

  2. I am happy for you but I’m totally not showing this post to my ten year old who is on a mission to get a dog (unlike you, I will not acquiesce!!!!)
    Enjoy her!!!

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