Friday, September 26, 2008

One Of Us Is Clearly Wrong

Disclaimer: I might be wrong.

My husband recently encouraged me to gather a group of women together with whom I could talk about aliyah, moshiach and the impending geula. So I did. I found a handful of women and we had a very successful first meeting. We discovered that we are all very much resonating to the same spiritual strumming.

In some ways, the meeting churned up the heat on the issues for me. I am just about to boil over with anticipation. I feel like I am constantly sitting on the edge of my seat, on high alert.

One woman in our group directed us to a blog called Dreaming of Moshiach that she reads regularly. This blogger is either a spiritual powerhouse or a crazy person. Here are two of the more potent things she wrote:

1) In early October, President Bush will suspend the upcoming presidential elections indefinitely and that he will remain president. He will become known as the Biblical Gog (which sounds suspiciously like George).

2) All Jews in the Diaspora must make aliyah before Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5769. (May 23-24, 2009)

And here's another thing. Economists agree that almost every major financial crash has happened in September/October, which is always Elul/Tishrei - that is, Rosh Hashana time. The current economic crisis/meltdown facing us is no different. Is this a message from Gd?

One more thing to throw into the chulent pot. The Facilitated Communication messages from religious autistic people are speaking to us in very strong language. This transcript of a message from just last month speaks of the short amount of time left and how urgent it is to come Home.

So here's what we have. A major economic crisis with the possibility that it could get much, much worse. An impending nuclear attack, Gd-forbid. Frequent "natural" disasters of biblical proportions. Arguably the most unlikely presidential and vice-presidential candidates in US history.

Is it any wonder I'm churning?

In an attempt to figure out whether we can do something now to protect our finances, my husband and I met with a frum financial planner. I wanted to talk to someone who could advise us from a spiritual perspective rather than just a conventional financial planning perspective.

And do you know what this person said?

He recommended one possible tiny tweak in our accounts and then to just sit tight because he believes that the market will bounce back and we will eventually recoup our losses and continue to earn. He gave us the 99% pure conventional financial planning answer, based on the assumption that the future will look much like the past.

One of us is clearly wrong.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why Can't I?




The fact is, I really can't move to Israel just now. If you know me, you probably already know the reason. If you don't know me, it doesn't matter. You'll just have to take it as a given.

So why might that be? I'm asking a spiritual question here, since the practical answer is already clear to me. What is the spiritual reason why my circumstances prevent me from making aliyah when I want so desperately to be part of the Jewish story at this stage of Jewish history?

I believe there is a spiritual reason why my circumstances are as they are. I don't believe the quality of being stuck-jammed-wedged-trapped into my life in America was randomly assigned to me. But since I'm neither a mekubal nor Gd Himself, I can only have theories.

Perhaps, in a previous life, I had the chance to live in Israel and I treated the opportunity with derision or simple indifference. Now, my tikkun is to long for what I treated cavalierly in a past life.

Perhaps Hashem is withholding the opportunity, as He withheld children from Sara Imenu, in order to force me to build a deeper, more faithful relationship with Him.

Perhaps I yet have work to do here, something specific to accomplish that I can only accomplish while living in America.

Perhaps Hashem is keeping me at a safe distance from some terrible tragedy that would otherwise befall me if I were to be living in Israel already.

It could be any of these, all of these or none of these. At this stage, the important factor is that I trust that there is a reason.

That helps me cope.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Wail of a Time

When I gave birth (excuse this tangent so early in the post, but I've always loved that expression "giving birth") to my first child, the physical pain was beyond belief. A first birth, an excessively long labor, an inexperienced medical resident with an, ahem... unsophisticated bedside manner and insufficient drugs combined to create a nightmare of a delivery. So when this child left my body, it was painful.

But it was physical pain and I pretty much knew to expect that.

Yesterday, we sent that baby, now a sensitive and beautiful young woman, off to Israel to learn Torah for the year. Why don't parents tell each other how painful that separation is going to be? I was completely blind-sided by the intensity of the experience.



And, just like when we're in a cab traveling from our apartment to Ben Gurion airport because it's time to leave Israel yet again, I spent much emotional energy trying not to wail. The night before she left, her last night in our home, I didn't want her to hear me. In the airport, after my husband and I gave her a bracha and a final hug, I didn't want to embarrass myself (or her) in public. And last night, after we returned from the airport and I walked past the open door to her (now mostly empty) room, I didn't want our younger child to hear me.

I need an hour alone out in a forest somewhere.

Of course, there is much to be joyous about in this stage, and eventually, those things will rise to the surface. But for now, I'm grieving the end of an era, the end of actively parenting this child, of living with her on a daily basis.

If she loves Israel as much as I hope she will, any additional time she may spend under our American roof, she'll only be counting the days until she can get back Home.

Like mother, like daughter.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

You Know Moshiach is Real When...

I consistently trade powerful words of Torah and chizuk with my spiritual sisters in Israel by email. Usually, we send each other inspiring articles, written by others. Occasionally, we inspire each other with our original thoughts.

I just got an email from one of my spiritual sisters who reports that her young son asked her, "If Moshiach comes today, can I stay home from Gan?"

There's no doubt that Moshiach is quite real in that household.