Thursday, August 21, 2014

Why childhood is awesome

I awake to find Sroch playing toy soldiers with playing cards. That's her moving her armies.

Note also her pajamas; an old shabbos dress. :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The war is too much with us - near and soon (Tisha B'av 2014)

Right. So there's a war going on. Technically it's an operation, not a war, and technically it's kinda sorta officially over as of today kinda sorta - but only kinda sorta.

But essentially: a war.

This is the blog about the kids, not about me. And I've already blogged about their reaction to the war, which is...
- concern
- empathy
- tehillim, and
- a lack of fear

I mean, they are not immune to a little fear. Llama told me she had a nightmare that ganavim (thieves) stole me away. Sroch's friend didn't want to go anywhere with her because she afraid of kidnappers. And they ask - where's the mamad (shelter) in your office? When we Skyped with the grandparents on the cruise ship, they wanted to know where the mamad was there too.

But basically, they are not scared.

Partially they are still young, meaning they still think of themselves as invincible. And thank God there's nothing in THEIR neighborhood that's visually scary; even though we hear the planes flying to Gaza, we don't see Gaza itself.

But I think partially it's because they see no reason for fear. We talk all the time about Hashem being like a parent and only doing what's best for us. We say how a baby screaming in pain from a measles shot doesn't realize the parent is doing it for good reasons - they only know it hurts! And how Jewish history and this world are like that, that we just can't see the whys and wheretofores... but that WHY exists, and that's enough.

And now it's Tisha B'av. Sroch just went off to her first Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation video - they have a kid's one she's old enough for. But in general for the kids Tisha B'av is when they have random kaitanot and play dates, and we (the parents) sit on the floor. (And nebuch, Llama had to come home early from her kaitana - she's running a seriously icky fever and is now napping in the other room.) (And naturally she woke up when I typed that! B"H fever is down again.)

I could try today to make it into something more for them, a day to feel more connected to all Jews, to our history, to our tragedies, to our hope and prayers for the future.

Because Tisha B'av is about connection - about prayer - about togetherness and purpose.

And this year... it's been Tisha B'av for weeks.

I recently posted this on Facebook:

I do not like war. But I love who my country becomes when we're in the middle of one.

This has been a heart-wrenching summer of war - and a summer of love. Never have I felt so connected to every Jew in this country, in the world, never have I felt so supported by the prayers and hopes of the entire Jewish world.

Despite today's news that we're kinda sorta not having a war any more kinda sorta maybe.... I hope THAT part continues ... forever.

(Previous years' posts: 2006: here, 2009: here, 2010: here, 2011: here, 2012: here, and 2013: here)

Monday, August 04, 2014

Tisha B'av post... pregame

This isn't my official Tisha B'av post yet.

This is just a link to a note I wrote about Facebook and bringing mashiach. I'm not sure I expressed myself properly, but I tried.

How Social Media Could Rebuild the Bais Hamikdash (but probably won't)

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be so busy boogieing in the third temple I won't be posting at all...

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Milestones! Unrelated to war!

Llama is sick (suspected croup) but she learned how to swallow pills! This is SUCH a boon- unlike her sister, she really dislikes medicine. Sooooo yay!
Also: she's learned to play draw-one solitaire. Bravo!

Monday, July 28, 2014


As I wrote the last post, Sroch popped out of bed and said she had to write something.

I let her, and when she was done she showed it to.

It was a note to God, asking him to bring mashiach,  and if not in her lifetime that she should return in techiyas hameisim to see it, but he should answer her tfilos and bring mashiach on tisha b'av.

So we hugged and kissed and sniffled and I said, you are so like your mother, sitting here crying in the middle of the night.

And she said, "I cried already, " and then grinned and skipped off to bed.

This war is doody

We have a lot of important talks around bedtime, sometimes. I do tell the kids some of what's going on with the war, since they'll just hear bits and pieces from their friends anyway. So we've talked about (and they've seen some pictures of) the tunnels, the rockets, Iron Dome, the chayalim singing and dancing, and so on.

Bless them, we've also talked about having compassion for the Arabs caught in the Gaza crossfire,  like the children killed today when a Hamas rocket misfired.
"Mommy, don't they care if their own children get hurt?"
No guys. Some of them really don't seem to.
"What kind of people are like that?" they ask me. Because if I proud of nothing else in their education, I am proud that I taught them all people have value, Jew and non Jew.

So we've concluded Hamas is doody.  They're like poop.

And we've discussed that a lot of the world is angry at Israel now. I read an article the other day that seemed to be making the argument that the conflict was unfair, cause Israel hasn't had as many deaths as Gaza (and Sroch is all like, "nu, the world isn't about fair!").

And my girls? They are still, mostly, unafraid. We holler 'good luck boys!' to the planes rumbling overhead, we race to check the app on Mommy's phone when it pings that there's a siren somewhere, we have brachos parties and tehillim and ... they are not afraid.

They have a powerful awareness that God is running the universe, that there is a reason for everything. And they know that achdus, unity, is the key to God staying on our side.

Now it's Av- the 9 Days, a dangerous time for the Jewish nation but, also, the time with the potential for our greatest salvation.

So Sroch says to me tonight, after I tell her that it was a really hard day for the war today-

"Mommy, maybe, maybe now it's Av and so it's bad now, and maybe it's going to get harder now every day, and will get worse and worse... until after tisha b'av when... " she spreads her hands and her voice fills with wonder,  "Hashem will start the geulah! "

And Llama says, "I wish it would be even tomorrow!"

Amen, holy kinderlach. Amen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Brain rot

Today is a Nothing Day, a day in which there is no camp, no kaitana, no school - but I have to work. Yoav is away with his camp too.

So I decided it's a Brain Rotting Day. My kids haven't watched a video of any kind in months, so I decided to try getting it all done in one fell swoop.

They are currently watching their third "Little People" DVD. I didn't even remember owning all of those.

That's right. My holy children - aged 8 and almost 6 - third grader and first grader - are happily spending hours watching content made for 2 year olds. They are thrilled.

I love my kids.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The war - summarized

I saw this post from Facebook tonight and it was almost exactly what I had been planning to write, but said better:

20 Things I have learned since this war began- Sarah Raanan
1. Bomb shelter selfies make you feel better.
2. The fact that we don’t even think twice about having bomb shelters and safe rooms built in our houses is slightly abnormal. In fact, the fact that we have air raid sirens and rockets alerts that interrupt songs on the radio...the whole thing is surreal.
3. The silence and anticipation can be the worst.
4. Facebook makes you feel better. Knowing that your friends are feeling the same emotions that you are is comforting.
5. Facebook makes you feel worse. Reading articles and watching films about how much Hamas detest us and how the foreign media refuses to see the other side of the coin, is just frustrating, depressing and frightening.
6. Haters gonna hate - there’s nothing you can do about that. You just have to remember that you know what is good and right and pray for our well being. Meanwhile they will all ignore the fact that we fight to destroy the weapons that are threatening our people, and they fight to destroy us. Want to see 'disproportionate'? There it is.
7. There are many noises that sound like a siren - a kettle boiling, a motorbike zooming down the street, a kid making ‘wooh wooh’ noises in the supermarket, a sound that your ears pick out from the background of a song, the echoes in your head of past sirens...
8. The Muqata ROCKS! Thank you for everything that you do.
9. The Iron Dome is a total miracle.
10. Showering at 6:00pm is NOT a good idea, unless you are an exhibitionist.
11. You know you’ve been going through this for too long when you start choosing your shoes based on how good they are to run in. Or debating wearing beige trousers because they might get stained when you have to get out of your car mid siren and lie on the ground. Or worrying about going to workout in the evening because that means risking leaving the kids at home to deal with an air raid siren alone.
12. Two minutes is an eternity compared to 15 seconds
13. When push comes to shove, we all really love each other and help each other out. I wish we could be like this in times of peace.
14. Laughter really is the best medicine.
15. It’s funny, until it’s not.
16. Watching your kids go through this is painful. Being a Jew is such a scary reality right now.
17. There's nothing like the love of our IDF. We love them, each and every one and we feel the pain of their families' loss on such a deep, raw level that it physically hurts.
18. Solidarity marches and demonstrations around the world really do help and really do matter. Thank you to everyone who shows up.
19. I'm ashamed by how little I have identified with what people have been going through for YEARS in places like Sderot. I get it now. And we're not even experiencing anything close to what they have gone through and continue to endure.
20. There’s no place like home. There’s no other place to call home אין לי ארץ אחרת

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I often forget or "forget" to have the girls bentch after they eat during the week- I so dislike it when they occasional object that I tend to avoid it.

But I recently realized that was totally unfair to their own spiritual growth and relationship with God. THEY need to bentch for their own sakes.

So tonight I said:

"Guys, often we forget to bentch after we eat dinner, but I think especially because Yisroel needs all the (merits) it can get right now, can we bentch nicely tonight?"

BIG cries of "for sure!" from the girls, much rushing to the table, and Sroch says they can bentch from ONE bentcher.

I say, of course you can, Llama can't read yet.

"No Mommy! We'll bentch together from one bentcher for the ACHDUS!"

And as I type, they are singing praises to God for their food, for their land, for everything.

May it be a zchus for us all. (cause I gotta tell you- I'm rather tired of this war...)