My Big Boy’s 1st Day at Yeshiva

My Big Boy’s 1st Day at Yeshiva
My oldest son, 14-year-old Yoel, started yeshiva today.
It’s a great yeshiva and I was thrilled when he got accepted. It felt like a dream come true.
But several hours after leaving Yoel off there (we won’t be seeing him again for 10 whole days!) I am feeling a mixture of numb and blue. Dull torquoise.
Isn’t it strange, I’m thinking, how dreams that come true don’t feel so dreamy.
A woman can hope and pray for years to become pregnant or to finally give birth or to marry off a child.
But almost certainly, a few months or years later after those same prayers have been answered, that pregnant woman or postpartum mother or newly-minted mother-in-law isn’t bouncing off the walls with joy.
Wouldn’t you think that when all that expectation and hope and prayers and expectation finally bear fruit at the very least that fruit would be sweet?
But in reality, I’m thinking today, life’s blessings aren’t exactly sweet. They come with their own subtler aftertaste. A hard-to-pinpoint taste. Like savory or umami.
The taste of happiness and sadness. Relief and concern. Gratitude and frustration. Love and loss.
The impossible, incomparable taste of a blessed life.


  1. Mina Gordon

    It all depends on why the person desired that blessing. Chana, the mother of the prophet Shmuel prayed for a son but promised to dedicate him to the service of Hashem which meant leaving him to live by the Mishkan in Shiloh after he was weaned!
    She didn’t ask for a child who will make her happy, but for a child who will serve Hashem.
    She asked for a child because she wanted to be able to give not to get!
    Happiness is an attitude which comes from within, as do all of the emotions.
    No one can ‘make you’ happy or sad or angry. It’s up to you to chose your reaction.
    The way to do that is by recognising the emotion that is trying to manifest itself (am I sad, angry, worried etc) analyse why you feel that way (this event threatened my self-esteem, or reminded me of something that happened before) and then choosing to exchange it for a healthier emotion.

  2. B’H thank you for this

  3. Blima Spetner

    Don’t analyze it, let it be. You are human and H-shem gave us the full range of Human experiences/feelings. We CAN hold different feelings/emotions at the same time. Just accept that and breathe in all of it- no need to try to do anything to change it.

  4. Every moment in life there is a force trying to make us feel that we are lacking something. Once we recognize how natural that is, we can mindfully choose gratitude.

    • this comment is what rabbi nivin calls “refrigerator torah.” something so important that it should be on our fridges so we see it all the time!

  5. Mina E Gordon

    All that everyone wrote rings
    true. It says that by eating from the Tree of Knowledge bad and good became mixed together. Since then there is no evil without some good and no good without some evil,
    Yet our job down here is to separate the good from the bad and refine our personal world.

  6. Chana Jenny, how do you do it? You’re pinpoint these hard to describe mom emotions so well! I’m always inspired by your posts and this one brought me to tears. Thank you for taking us on your personal journeys, and pointing out the nuances of motherhood.

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email