- Name: Divrei Moshe
- Location: Israel
I live in Israel with my beautiful wife and 4 amazing children. We moved from Boston in the summer of 2003. I have been involved in business and professionally with Jewish Youth. I am a terrible speller, editor and my grammar is even worse. Even still, I love to write but never have. I am not great at putting myself, “out there” as I am mostly reserved.....It's a man thing. I don’t like getting into long arguments and discussions; I just don’t have the time. So if you like what I write and my perspective on things great! If you object, I like to say, we can agree to disagree. Moshe is my Hebrew name. Welcome to my blog.
Blogs I try to read
- Sarah Smile
- Shimmy T
- Of tights and seams
- My special Ed
- Devoras Adventures
- Chayyei Sarah
- Hinda's Blog
- Brookline Babe
- a simple jew
- Karban Nesanel
- Dani's Rant
- Out of Step Jew
- cross currents
"From Moshe till Moshe, there arose none like Moshe." (famous Jewish folk saying)
Saturday, October 30, 2004
The bloating disappeared
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Does G-d Play Baseball? This may not be what you think it is.
3 years ago, in October I came to Israel for business purposes. I also came to scout out some communities where we could live and opportunities for work prior to our aliya. Our trip was scheduled at the height of the intafada and there were unfortunately peguim, bus bombings, and sniper attacks on a frequent basis. It was terrible. My children (who at the time were 12, 10 and 9) were concerned about my safety. They listen to the news, understand and knew that going to Israel meant being in the place where all this was happening. They were scared. (They don’t feel at all scared living here now) Before I left, I told the children I would be going to the Kotel, the Western Wall and they could write a prayer on a piece of paper and I would put the paper in the Kotel. This is a tradition that goes back 100’s of years. They could in essence, write a letter to G-d. They each took a paper, pen and began to commit their personal prayers to print. When they were finished, I put them in my talis bag so I would not forget them.
Many hours and 6,000 miles later, I found myself standing in awesome Kotel plaza. A place unlike any other place on earth. A place replete with incredible history and palpable spirituality. After the vatikin (sunrise) minyan I made my way to the wall to say my own personal prayer and deliver the messages to G-d from my children. As I was about to put their kapitlach/messages in the wall, I suddenly had the urge to read what they had written. (I though for a second about invasion of privacy but that was about it) I wanted to know what do our kids think about, what do they pray for. How do they feel G-d plays a role in their lives, something my wife tries to impresses upon them each day. My girl’s kapitlach were beautiful.
“Please HaShem, let my Abba have a safe trip, let our family have a successful aliya. Help me to make new friends, let everyone in the family be healthy.”
My son kapitlach was equally impressive. “Please HaShem, let Abba have a safe trip, let our family have a successful aliya, help me to do well in my new school, help Abba find a job,” and then he concluded, “and if you can, please help the Red Sox win the world series.” I almost passed out. I’m not sure if it was because a sox victory was something he prayed for, or if it was how he wrote, “if you can.” At 12 years old my son understood that HaShem plays a role in world events, from the mundane to the sublime. What nachas! I delivered their messages and left the Kotel, deeply moved and inspired from the place and from this personal experience.
But the Sox lost the following year in the traditional anguishing fashion. Did HaShem not answer his prayers? Did He ignore the honest, sincere and passionate prayers of my 12-year-old son? My explanation to my tearful son was, HaShem absolutely answered your prayers! G-d always answers our prayers. But His answer must have been, there is always next year.
So this is next year! And the Sox won in a fashion that can only be explained by nothing less than Divine intervention. There really were angles in the outfield and this year they played for the red sox!
So many things happen in our lives and in the world today that are way beyond explanation and our limited human comprehension. That HaShem controls the world is obvious to some and questioned by others. It is not 86 years of baseball history that reveals this! Life itself reveals this each and every day. Why have we struggled for so many years, why the long wait? Do these questions sound like they have been asked before? Could these same questions and pleas apply to something else we have been yearning for? Have we not been yearning for a lot longer than 86 years? Lessons can be taught in very subtle ways. We need to pay attention to the sometimes subtle, sometimes bang over the head lessons that are sent our way. We have to be sure our priorities are in check and that we express and pray with the same enthusiasm for what is really important in life. Mazal Tov to Red Sox Nation! My we take from this, that our prayers are indeed always answered.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Clearing her throat, lets hope!
At least I think I'm funny
Thanks for the positive feedback. I think we'll make it. IY"H, The Mrs. will be home before Shabbat. The only real casualty is an empty fridge. I can by milk eggs, MEAT, but that's about it. The fridge is so empty, I think I'll go clean it......, but first I must finish my mending. I'm feeling a bit bloated. AHHHHH what has happened to me :)
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Lets hope it's in the Cards!
Twas the night to beat the Yankees,
And all through the nation,
Not a single sole was thinking,
Of 85 years of damnation....
Cause this is the year,
To end our bad luck,
And even if it don't,
The YANKEES STILL SUCK!!!
On Damon! On Nixon! On Manny and Kap-lah!
On V-tek! On Meuller! On Ortiz and Mill-ah!
Carry this team and make some noise,
Cause everyone knows A-rods a sissy and Jeter Likes Boys!
To the TRUE fans of BOSTON,
Get a beer and a cup,
And say it again boys,
The Power of the Cloth
On my last trip, in a week I had meetings in 16 cities, 4 states and 2 Canadian Provinces. I began my trip on a Sunday morning in NY and my plan was to be in Halifax, NS for shabbos. During the week I traveled by car to communities in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, I was in Portland (stopping in Freeport on the way) and Bangor Maine on Thursday. I drove over 1,000 miles that week. Friday morning I had a reservation on the Cat Ferry which was scheduled to leave at 8:00am for the 3 hour journey to Falmouth, NS. From Falmouth, I would drive 180 miles to Halifax. I arrived at the Cat Ferry terminal gate at 7:45am and the gate was closed. I went into the office, proceeded to the desk and exclaimed, “I have a reservation on the 8am ferry.” The clerk looked at me and said, “I’m sorry sir, the boarding ramp has been raised, I’m afraid you’ll have to take the next ferry.” The next ferry I said, When is that? “Tomorrow morning sir.” Tomorrow morning wont work for me, I said. “Well,” continued the clerk, “you can drive to Halifax.” Drive, how long is the drive? “Well if you leave now, and you drive straight, you can make it to Halifax in 10 hours.” 10 hours! I though for a moment…Shabbos was at about 5:45pm. I would never make it. I needed to be in Halifax for shabbos. That was the plan.
So, I took off my Red Sox hat, which is my travel hat, and said with respect and conviction, “Miss, I am a Rabbi. I need to be in Halifax for the Sabbath. The Sabbath begins at sundown today. Taking the ferry tomorrow morning wont work for me, and driving 10 hours wont work either. I need to be on THAT Ferry. She looked at me for a moment, a moment that seemed like forever. She picked up her two-way radio, pressed the button and said, “Stan, this is the front desk. Stan do you copy?" Stan replied, "Copy." The clerk continued, "Stan, we have a Rabbi here. Can you bring the down the loading ramp?
Shabbos in Halifax was beautiful.
Monday, October 25, 2004
4 minutes, 17 seconds
You can get very dirty in around here, especially in school. The kids play in the dirt, there is lots of sand and the cats are there, ugg, it drives me crazy. The worst is when they climb into “my bed” with their sandy feet! That puts me over the edge. So after a hard day playing bath time is an end of the day mandatory ritual for our almost 5 year old. Last night as I was taking her out of the tub, my cell phone rang. I quickly wrapped her in her towel, “nice and tight” the way she likes it and put her on my bed and on Abba’s special pillow, one of those temperpedic types. I answered the call. I can’t even remember who it was. But 4 minutes, 17 seconds (on the call timer) later my daughter was snoring away. Because of this call that I can’t even remember, I missed out on reading Go-Dog-Go and Clifford for the 700th time! I’ll have to think about that the next time my phone rings.
Fathers Do Not baby-sit their children
Over the last week, I have received countless of calls each day from former students and neighbors asking if everything is OK, and if we need anything. People have stopped me in the street and asked me if we have enough food? Do I need help with the cooking, laundry, shopping, etc? When I was at the makolet, (mini market) the other day, looking dazed and confused, someone actually offered to shop for me! “Just call and let me know what you need. Milk, eggs, anything you need, I’ll pick it up for you.” People here have been surprised when I said that everything is fine. I have done the laundry, grilled dinner almost every night, cooked and grilled for shabbat and remembered my daughters ballet shoes (Yes, a friend called to remind me to put them in my daughters back pack today) I have made lunches every day, made sure the kids showered, helped with the homework, (did I say that I grilled dinner?) set up a few play dates, and I brought treats to my daughters Gan (kindergarten) on Friday because she was the Ima shel Shabbat, The Shabbos Mommy!
But this comment was the kicker, “So your wife is away… and you’re babysitting?” To this I responded, “Fathers don’t baby-sit their own children.” Being a father is the greatest joy. Having to do it alone for a short period of time, has given me an even greater appreciation of what my wife, a professional stay at home Mom’s has to contend with each day when I am away. Well maybe. I’m sure that when I am traveling, she does not get the calls and wonderful offers from friends and neighbors. She’ll shop, cook, do the laundry and deal with all the wonders of motherhood until I return to share these (well most of these) responsibilities together. We make a great team.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Keeping things in perspective
But why the rivalry, why all the years of denigration and nastiness?
My grandfather and his brother used to share a story with us that he had heard from his hometown Rav, Rabbi Osher Kahn many years ago. Rabbi Kahn used to tell the story of envy. He would say that envy is healthy and can be used for good. You can envy someone’s scholarship; you can envy someone’s good fortune. If this envy makes you want to learn more and achieve more, you can take this negative character trait and use it to motivate yourself. But then Rabbi Kahn would relate the following story: There was once a farmer. This farmer did very well. He had a good crop and was reasonably successful at his trade. One day a wealthy man came to him. The wealthy man offered the farmer a deal. He said, if you want one million dollars, I’ll give you a million dollars. If you want another 1000 acres of land, I’ll give you another 1000 acres. But there is one condition. The rich man then related his one condition. He said to the farmer, what ever you want, what ever you request, just know that what ever I give to you, I will give your competitor up the street, DOUBLE! If you ask for a million dollars, I’ll be giving him two million. If you ask for another 1000 acres, I'll be giving your competitor 2000 acres. The farmer thought for a moment and responded to the wealthy man, “poke out one of my eyes!” This Rabbi Kahn said is real envy. It’s not that you want it. That is normal and human nature. It’s that you don’t want the other guy to have it. That is wrong. That is envy. Yankee fans are full of bad envy. After all these years as Sox fans we may have some bad envy in us as well. It’s negative and unhealthy energy, even if it is fun. Yankees lost and Yes, we can chant Yankees SUCK! OK, I’m guilty and at least for now, it feels good. But we have to move on because healthy envy will better serve the Sox in their next triumph.
My wife’s family is originally from St. Louis, so now we have a real family conflict. I have no conflict! But my son, the mentch and his great-grandfather solved the conflict in the following way. In a discussion before the series (ironically, they had the same discussion before the Patriots-Rams Super Bowl two years ago) my son said, “if the Cardinals win, I’d be happy for you.” His great-grandfather responded, “and if the Red Sox win I’ll be happy for you!” After the Pat's won the super bowl, Grampa (a Rams fan) called our son and said, “We, won!” May the best (Red Sox) team win.