Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When I first started keeping a blog I couldn't wait to write every day. After two years (yes, we've lived in Israel for two years now!), it's getting harder and harder to find the time to write. It's not that I don't have what to write about (that's Jewish lingo); the problem is that there's so much to say and I've just been too tired to write it all down. It seems as if I've been leaving for work earlier and staying longer - and enjoying every minute of it.

On the other hand, poor Emma is home alone for up to ten or twelve hours, in the barely bearable heat and how silly is that, to feel guilty over leaving your dog? I guess if you have a pet and you know how important they are to you, then you understand how I feel. But it's also a wonderful feeling to work for an organization that feeds so many hungry children every day, and supplies clothes and blankets and heaters and backpacks, and helps their parents train for better jobs and then helps them find jobs.

A group of about 30 girls from England came to Yad Ezra V'Shulamit this afternoon and I accompanied Bassya as she spoke to them about what we do. When she showed them the video I had tears in my eyes. Rav Ariel Lurie, who founded the organization, is such a special person. He grew up hungry on the streets of Jerusalem and vowed that he would do everything in his power to make sure that other children have enough to eat. But feeding them isn't all; he knew the stigma of being poor and going to school in ragged clothing and dowdy hand-me-downs. Every Fall, the kids we provide assistance for get to pick out their own book bags and school supplies from all the donated supplies we get. Besides giving out 2500 food baskets every single week in locations all around the country, we also have Children's Centers in six different locations where children can come after school and get a nourishing lunch, get help with homework, and play in a safe environment. They're even sent home with food for supper and breakfast the next morning. It's an amazing organization. I think I'd like to eventually do some fundraising for the organization. Not that I like asking people for money, but it's such a worthy cause. If anyone's interested in learning more, check out our website at If you make a donation, please put my name in the comments line so I can get a commission!

We have friends in town from St. Louis. Last Thursday they took a bus to our yishuv and we visited for a couple of hours. Then we drove into town and met David at one of our favorite fleish restaurants when he got off work. We just sat and talked for several hours; it was so nice to see them. They're in Israel for their grandson's bar mitzvah. Two nights ago was the celebration at a hall on Ezras Torah. There were other St. Louisans there - what a shock! Several girls who I knew as kids were there - married with babies! When did they grow up? and why am I continually surprised by it?! I didn't mind at all getting to play with all the babies.

We interrupt this irregularly scheduled blog writing with a totally unscheduled but not unexpected mitzvah request from a neighbor -------

Okay, I'm back. Emergency averted. Mini-version: 9:30 PM and a 10 year neighbor's son is having a tantrum, screaming on the street, trying to get down to the bus stop to go into town. He was yelling into the open window at a friend who was on his computer playing what was apparently a pretty cool computer game, but the friend's father had "disinvited" this kid from being there. Three younger siblings were joining in the commotion. Mom called with an SOS. I got three of the kids to come to my house for 20 minutes to play the stress game on my computer. (It's a great computer game but please don't ask how to download it; my niece, nephew and another friend's son have been begging for it and I don't think the website is around anymore). Anyway, he calmed down enough that when I walked them back home, everyone was in a good mood and Mom was able to relax a little. Unfortunately, they're all planning to come back tomorrow AND IT'S MY DAY OFF AND I NEED TIME TO MYSELF.

In case you thought I might have been yelling that last line, you are perfectly correct, although it wasn't so loud that anyone else could hear. Can we say stress? Strain? Pressure? Anxiety? Worry? I'm not really at liberty to explain all that, due to the constraints of loshon hara. Suffice it to see that I REALLY need some time away from the constant SOS's of several situations.

Until tomorrow afternoon. I pick David up around 5 and we head into Beit Shemesh for a another Bar Mitzvah celebration of friends also from St. Louis (go, Josh!). Oh, maybe I need to go earlier and buy him a present. I wonder if Manny's bookstore in Geulah sells gift certificates?

We would love to have a quiet Shabbat. We said that last week and we ended up with ten for dinner (as of 2:30 PM erev Shabbat) and overnight guests for Friday through Sunday night (we didn't know we were having guests Sunday night until we were awakened at midnight by a knock on the front door and Emma barking madly). So, please Hashem, can this one be a quiet one?

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