I thought about several titles for this post; in the end I went with the one I went with because it seemed much the simplest. I wish to write about three "miracles" that have all happened in the last 24 hours. I put "miracles" in quotation marks because they weren't like God splitting the Red Sea, or taking Israel out of Egypt with "a mighty hand and an outstretched arm." Still, if you look carefully, I do believe you'll see God in these events.
--First: I CAN WEAR THE ARM THINGY AGAIN!!! I am writing about this one first because it really does feel like the most miraculous of the three. Let me tell you the story. My pain has gotten just the tiniest bit better recently; each day as I prayed with the head thingy and my prayer shawl, I had a sort of nagging feeling that I should be wearing the arm thingy, too. In response to that feeling, I kept saying, "One day. One day soon I'll try and see." Finally, I decided I couldn't put it off any longer, so I tried. And you know what? I could! It hurts--bothers me a lot, not going to lie--but not so much that I want to scream, and more importantly, not so much that I cannot focus on my prayers.
--Second: THERE IS SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP MY VISION PROBLEMS (at least we think so) AND I AM SEEING HIM TOMORROW!!! My grandparents have a physical trainer, who works mainly with nerve problems. Yesterday, my father suggested I give him a call, so I did. He thinks he can help; I didn't want to miss more school than I had to, so I asked--not really expecting him to say yes--if he could get me in tomorrow. He answered in the affirmative. Not only that, when I asked what time, he said any time I could get there. (He's in Massachusetts.) Wow. All the glory for this one goes to God.
Now, in order for the above arrangement to work, I do have to stay with my grandparents overnight. My grandfather kind of terrorized me when I was a kid. Last night, I found myself starting to be scared...and then I said, "Self, that's ridiculous. You are an adult; you don't have to let him." He is very uncomfortable with displays of religion...and I am, well, very religious. So I decided I will compromise on a few things; no point starting unnecessary arguments.
I am still going to wear a kippah, but I picked out one of my smallest. (I have 13 in that size, so that's still a lot to choose from; the one I finally went with is the kippah s'rugah with the big flower, the second one I ever got, if anyone is interested.) I am going to pray in my room, and pray silently. I made sure I will not be wearing a shirt with Hebrew on it. I refuse, however, to tuck in my tzitziot. They make my legs itch, and it's a pain in the neck to make sure they're hidden all the time.
--Third: "MY FRIEND 'SHOSHANA' IS COMING TO SPEND THE SABBATH WITH ME!!!" My friend "Shoshana" (I gave her that code name years ago, when I was still code naming everyone) is very, very Christian. (Yes, I appreciate the irony of the Hebrew code name.) We talked on the phone for over an hour yesterday, and had some really good interfaith dialogue. I was trying to describe my synagogue (the Conservative one 16 blocks away, the only one I go to now) and explain why it is so special...and then I had an inspiration. I invited her for the Sabbath. I didn't really expect her to say yes, but she did, and she's coming next week!
I must check with my father (he's a Rabbi--ordained Conservative--he'll know) whether blessings carry the same status in other languages that they do in the original Hebrew. I want to include "Shoshana" and make her feel comfortable, and I'm willing to bet she doesn't speak or understand a word of Hebrew. However, I have to fulfill my obligation to perform these commandments; if I need to do them in Hebrew, it's just going to have to be Hebrew.
I'm reminded by these plans that God really does know all. Years ago--my sophomore year, her senior--"Shosahna" (Protestant), her boyfriend (Catholic), and I (Jewish) were in the dining hall on campus together, having interfaith dialogue, because that's what we most loved to do. On a random whim, I invited "Shoshana" for the Sabbath...to some random home I didn't have yet, wouldn't have for a few years, and whose location I certainly didn't know. And now, about three and a half years after that lunch/dinner (I think it was dinner, but I really don't remember) she really is coming to my home for the Sabbath!
Friday evening, "Shoshana" and I will spend a relaxed Sabbath evening at home. (I can't really walk sixteen blocks twice, and besides, I want to spend the time with her.) I will have to cook each piece of chicken separately, both because the oven is so small (toaster oven) and because that's how I know the timing, but if I back up the cooking time two hours and 40 minutes, and start the first piece at 3:50, I should finish the second one just in time to light candles at 6:30. I am getting green beans in place of my usual brussel sprouts because I am peculiar in terms of vegetable tastes, but pretty much everyone is OK with green beans. Saturday morning, "Shoshana" and I will go to my wonderful synagogue. She can't be counted in the minyan (prayer quorum of ten adults) because she isn't Jewish; if we actually get there on time/early and it isn't a Bar or Bat Mitzvah week, I may have to make that clear to someone. We'll see.
So those are my miracles! I wrap up with a movie quotation; see if you know it!
"There can be miracles when you believe; though hope is frail, it's hard to kill."
"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."
I believe in God.
I believe in God.
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- I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!