The Extreme Mother-Daughter Mismatch

The Extreme Mother-Daughter Mismatch

This morning I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room when a modestly-dressed young woman wearing a brown sheitl and stockings walked in followed by an older blond woman in a sleeveless blouse.

The religious woman sat down on the other side of the room, and I moved over and offered for the secular woman to sit by me. But she ignored my offer and crossed the room to sit down right next to the religious woman. They shared a big familiar smile, and I overheard the younger woman asking the older woman for her advice about some project she was involved with.
I did a double take. They could not possibly be together. They looked like polar opposites. Bnei Brak vs. North Tel Aviv. The Mir vs. Hebrew University. Pro Judicial Reform vs. burning tires on the Ayalon Highway.
But when I looked closely I saw that, aside from their hair color, their faces looked exactly alike.
They seemed to share such a warm connection. Between them, I detected no VS. whatsover. Only AND. WITH. TOGETHER.
Especially now. With tensions so high between the right and left, between the religious and secular. And during these 3 weeks leading up to Tisha b’Av when baseless hatred brought about the destruction of both Temples.
And the only way to heal this destruction, we are taught, is through baseless love between Jews.
Like this mother and daughter, who appear to be different in every way, and probably disagree vociferously on religion, politics, education, and so much more.
But look at them deeply, and you can’t miss the fact that underneath it all, their faces are the same. They are as close as close can be. They are family. And not only them. So are we. All of us.


  1. I had a similar encounter the other day. A young woman dressed with a long skirt, long sleeved top, and tichel was walking with her baby in a stroller and slightly behind her was an older woman wearing a sleeveless top and pants. I passed by them not thinking anything and then saw the younger woman turned to the older woman and with a smile “Eema”… and then continued with her sentence. The mom was also smiling 🙂
    I’m sure such dynamic relationships require strength from both sides, but if there is love and mutual respect, the relationship can thrive well.

  2. It’s so nice to read this positive and achdus- filled post. I heard Rebbetzin (Heller) Gottlieb speak about the 3 weeks the other day. She said that it’s actually not free love that will rebuild the Beis Hamikdash but love with a reason. That means looking at each person and group and finding something that you like about them. Focus on that (She explained that free love can mean that I can’t stand anything about you but ill love you anyway). Another point she made was to use speech positively. If you see something good point it out like you did here:)

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