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On Gratitude and Sensitivity

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Tonight I was privileged to participate in the “Shifra and Puah” event, an organization that assists women after they give birth. “In the merit of righteous women,” I said, “we were redeemed from Egypt, and in their merit we will experience our future and final redemption. I always thought about this sentence from a pro-active perspective. I was among those moms who organize and collect for the gift given to the kindergarden teacher at the end of the year, for example. But since we began our Shlichut in America, I am the weak mom. To a newcomer like me, everything has to be slowly explained, whether it involves what exactly has to be sent to kindergarden today, or if there is kindergarden at all and, if there is, is there transportation or not (It’s very confusing here in America with all the national holidays. Every other day is a memorial to Columbus or Washington, and on such days no yellow bus comes by). Once every two months there is a surprise classroom examination for lice (really!). You sign up for summer camp before Chanukah. When it comes to finding a place in a carpool, it’s not simple since it seems like kids have been signed up since birth. Yet within all this chaos and culture shock, the assistance from the other moms has been phenomenal. There has been so much kindness, patience, and willingness to help from devoted neighbors. What a powerful circle of women I discovered here as someone in need of constant help. In the merit of righteous women… Not only gratitude fills the heart, but also the desire to sharpen and refine my sensitivity. When I lived in Israel, did I give assistance like this to moms who needed it? Was I aware of how easy it was to help them with a quick translation sent on Whatsapp or with a simple explanation regarding tomorrow’s exam? When we return to Israel, will I be more sensitive? Is there not in every group of people some version of a ‘new immigrant,’ a stranger, not a local, or not in the know, who deserves our attention?".


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