Breathe In, Breathe Out

Breathe In, Breathe Out

For a few days I’ve been having a hard time breathing, like there’s a 70’s-style file cabinet sitting inside my chest, on top of my lungs.

I keep on trying to visualize that I’m pulling that file cabinet out of my chest, and I can breathe freely for maybe a minute. But then, before I know it, my cabinet-crushed lungs are fighting for oxygen yet again.
Right after Shabbat tonight I went on a walk, and after another failed attempt to remove the file cabinet, I decided to open that locked file cabinet and name everything inside it. And here’s what I found inside:
1. I need to help my 6th grader find a junior high school for next year.
2. His 2 top options right now could be amazing, or, equally possibly, catastrophic.
3. I need to help my 8th grader find a high school for next year.
4. Her top 3 options could be amazing, or equally possibly, catastrophic.
5. My oldest child turned 26 last week and she is as incredible and wonderful as ever b”H, and she is also still single.
6. There is a war going on, and every week some of Israel’s most promising young men and women are getting killed, and I don’t know when the war with Hamas will end.
7. There are 136 men, women, and a child and a baby still being held hostage in Gaza. And they and their families are suffering terribly. And I have no idea when they will be brought home and what shape they will be in when they do.
8. There’s a good chance we will go to war with Hezbollah, which means many more promising young men and women could die. And my soldier daughter who just started university would have to go back to full-time reserve duty in the air force headquarters. And missiles could be falling all over northern and central Israel. And maybe we’d even have to move into our neighborhood bomb shelter.
I also had a #9, 10, 11 and 12, but I’d rather not bore you with the minutiae of my life, so I’ll leave it at that.
And then out of the blue, I imagined my mom A”H in my mind’s eye… And just like when I was a teenager, and she would say, “Jenny, if there’s anything you don’t want to do, feel free to blame it on me” and would thereby release me from outings or babysitting jobs I didn’t want to go to with the magic words “I’m sorry, my mother said I can’t.”
So too, tonight, my mom said, “Jenny, you are carrying TOO MUCH! Enough is enough! Hand over all your worries over to me. I will hold onto them for you. Take it easy!”
It was only when I reached home half an hour later that I remembered that mom was still holding my worries.
But then she told me, “Don’t worry, Jenny, neither of us has to hold them. I handed them over a long time ago…to Hashem.”


  1. Wow. What a bracha that you had and continue to benefit from your wise and supportive mother

  2. Wow. What a beautiful insight! We, the Jewish peoole are carrying such heaviness lately and can benefit from this reminder that we are all Hashems children and we can and should hand over our worries to Him. May you feel lighter with this insight and keep it in front of you always.

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