Jew in the suburbs


Rosh Chodesh Av Soul-mate Project
July 14, 2009, 4:23 pm
Filed under: Hashem, Jewish, Judaism, Love Story, Tehillim, women | Tags: , , , ,

 

Rosh Chodesh Av is on Wednesday, July 22nd.

 

Sign up to say Tehillim for your children, other relatives, and your friends to find their soul mates. Click here http://www.writeinvite.ca/tehillim/index.htm and fill out your form. Please, pass  this information on. There are 2 project groups and there needs to be 40 people in each group and  in each time zone.  

http://www.writeinvite.ca/tehillim/index.htm



Torah Site Naaleh online
July 2, 2009, 11:11 pm
Filed under: Frum, Hashem, Jewish, Jewish, Jewish blogs, Judaism, Orthodox, Torah, women | Tags: ,

 

 

New articles and songs will be coming from me soon.

 

 In the meantime I wanted to inform you that I got a phone call today from naaleh.com. Last year at a Shabbos lunch my friend told me about this site. The following Monday she sent me the link and I have been learning Torah with them ever since. I can listen to a Shuir anytime I want from my home and I see who is teaching it. When going to a Shuir brought to me for free using this site I feel as through I am sitting with my teachers in a classroom in Israel. Someone from Naaleh.com called me and other students to let us know that due to the recession they had fallen on hard times and did not want to see an end to this wonderful program which is free to users. I could tell the person on the phone was unhappy about having to ask myself and others for money. Please, go to http://www.naaleh.com/  See what classes they offer, and if you are able donate what you can to http://www.naaleh.com/

 

May naaleh.com be blessed to continue to bring Torah to their students and may they be blessed to receive new students.



Pesach Journal
March 16, 2009, 5:21 pm
Filed under: author, Frum, Hashem, Jewish, Jewish, Judaism, Passover, Torah, women, write, Yom Tov | Tags: , , ,

 

 

 

    Passover Journal  by Jew in the Suburbs

 

 

 

@

Copyright March 2007

 

No part of this story can be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

 

Based on Exodus

 

 

Entry one

 

The words in this diary are my heart felt prayer. My name is Leora. I have brown hair and eyes. I am a wife and the mother of 3 small daughters. All three of them were born underneath an apple tree in the middle of a field.  Every day my family and I endure back breaking labor. We work in the unrelenting heat of the fields. We are forced to carry and construct many bricks and, we are forbidden to stop until told. We are Hebrews, seen as nothings in the eyes of the Egyptians. Every night we go to bed hungry. My husband and I do the best we can. We give our children most of our food and drink. We tell them to sleep and dream happy dreams. I ask myself if they know what a happy dream is. Every night before falling into a restless exhausted sleep (wherever I happen to find space) I tell my husband and children that I love them and that our family will soon be far away from this oppressive land. I whisper a prayer to the G-d of our fathers, the G-d I have head stories about. You must exist, G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I can not stop believing that. Please lead us out of here. I will be so grateful.

 

Entry 2

 

My friend Miriam told me a story. Her mother Yocheved was a mid-wife, she was told by Pharaoh to kill every Hebrew baby boy she saw born. Of course, she did not follow orders. When Yocheved had her second son she was able to keep him secret for 3 months and then she put him in the hands of you, G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She placed him in the Nile and Miriam watched as her little brother was rescued from the water by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses, Miriam’s brother was raised in comfort just as any royal Egyptian would be. He ran from here years ago. Rumors flew that it was because he killed an Egyptian when he saw him mercilessly beat a Hebrew man. In truth this was a difficult story to believe. Why would he risk his life of comfort, why would he risk his life? I thought to myself. Moses is back and rumors are once again flying that he is speaking to Pharaoh! Please let this event help us! 

 

Entry 3

 

The tears in my eyes are too numerous to count as I watch my husband sleep. He was beaten today until he bled. Moses spoke to Pharaoh. He took his brother Aaron with him. I head that he requested that Pharaoh let us; his people go with him into the wilderness to celebrate a festival for our G-d. In response Pharaoh is now forcing us to search and gather our own straw for the bricks we make. My husband was unable to construct as many bricks today as he constructed yesterday and now because of it he is in physical agony. What purpose could this serve? Many are angry at Moses why has he made matters worse than we could ever imagine?

 

Entry 4

 

 Thank-you G-d of our fathers my husband’s wounds are healing. The work load has not decreased for us. Will it ever? Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh again and told him he should let us go so that we can worship YOU. I had so much hope that he would listen.  Am I wrong to hope? We are still here in this land? Aaron’s rod turned into a snake but then Pharaoh’s saucers were able to duplicate the action with spells. On the other hand I also head that Aaron’s rod was able to swallow the other rods. Maybe it is a sign that You have heard our many cries.

 

Just moments ago I was able to fetch water for my family, but the Nile and all Egyptian water sources have turned to blood!

 

Entry 5

 

When I woke up this morning every muscle in my body ached. I hear that frogs are   covering the land of the Egyptians. That is disgusting! I am grateful that in my home I am safe from them. They are not affecting my family or my people as a whole.   However, we are still slaves!

 

Entry 6

 

Rumor has it Pharaoh said he would let us go and the frogs have left after I hear Moses pleaded with You, but I awoke this morning still a slave and worked non-stop until this moment. The word of Pharaoh means nothing!

 

Entry 7

 

It’s a miracle! It must be a miracle from You G-d of our fathers. Today Moses and Aaron went back to the Pharaoh. Aaron placed his rod on the dust of the earth and it turned to lice! They are everywhere that the Egyptians are but these detestable lice are nowhere to be found among our people.  Furthermore, those men who do their little magic tricks for Pharaoh were not able to create lice! This has renewed my hope which has been so low lately. I must put my children to bed now. I think I will sing them to sleep tonight. I have not had the energy to sing in a long time. Thank-YOU G-d of our fathers I pray this oppression will be at its end by tomorrow.  

 

Entry 8

 

We are still slaves I was hoping this could be over. However, I refuse to give up hope. Once again G-d of our fathers you have set us apart from Egypt. Pharaoh has not listened. He will not let us go as of yet. I am not surprised, but all Egyptian livestock has been struck down and ours have not been touched, not a single one that belongs to our people!

 

 

Entry 9

 

Doesn’t Pharaoh know by now that refusing to let us go only causes him trouble? This morning Aaron and Moses gathered soot in their hands. I hear Pharaoh saw them do it. Moses threw the soot of the kiln toward the sky and now all the Egyptians and their animals have boils.

 

 

Entry 10

 

 When will my children, when will my whole family know what it is like to be free? When will Pharaoh decide he has had enough? Today the Egyptians endured Great Thunder and, hail and with the hail fire. Who ever heard of hail in Egypt and for that matter who ever heard of fire and hail together? I wish I had more answers than questions. I have prayed for many years and nothing happened. I have been laughed at for it at times by my own people. Now events seem to be happening constantly. My people and I live in Goshen and the hail which destroyed everything Egyptian outside in its path whether it was a beast or man did not touch us!   

 

Entry 11

 

 I heard that Moses and Aaron warned Pharaoh that You G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would send locusts. In response to the warning he told Moses and Aaron he would let only men go. I can’t believe his nerve he expects that we women will stay here with our children! We are a family! If my husband ever left here I would be by his side with our children. If one of us goes to worship YOU we all go! The locusts came, covered the land of Egypt and destroyed trees and anything else the hail might have left. Again, the event did not affect us. No locusts were seen in Goshen and nothing was harmed here.

 

Entry 12

 

Thank-YOU G-d of our fathers, there is an abundance of light in my dwelling and in every dwelling in Goshen. All of Egypt is in darkness; even in their homes the Egyptians can not see anything! Pharaoh has to let us go now. 

 

Entry 13

 

The darkness lasted 3 days and Pharaoh still refuses to let us go. My children have been asking if all these events mean we will soon be leaving. My husband told me he heard that after 3 days in darkness Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron to him and said that the men of our people can take their wives and children with them, but he demands our people leave our flocks and herds with him. What will happen now? 

 

 

Entry 14

On the 10th of this month Moses called us all together. He told us to get a lamb without blemish which we did. Those people in the community who had too small of a household for a lamb shared with their neighbors. After slaughtering the lambs at twilight our community placed the blood on our doorposts so that YOU would Passover us. We ate the lamb in a hurry with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. We dressed as you told us. That night was the most frightening I had ever spent as you passed over our people and smite every Egyptian first born son. We have now left the oppressive land. Pharaoh has had enough. We will celebrate the Passover for all time. We had to depart in such a hurry our bread did not have time to rise! I will admit as I walk with my husband, children, and other family no longer a slave to the Egyptians I am terrified. I wonder what will happen next. G-d of out fathers that said I trust in You.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Torah, Torah, Torah
January 18, 2009, 7:06 pm
Filed under: author, Frum, Hashem, Jewish, Jewish, Judaism, Orthodox, Torah | Tags: , , , ,

 

 

 

I wrote the paper below in college. The question I had to answer was as follows:

Describe precisely how Jewish tradition relies heavily on the Oral Torah to interpret the Written Torah.  Your answer should treat the major documents of the Oral Torah, covering both their age, scope, and function (e.g. Midrash, Mishnah, Talmud, etc.).

 

 

 

 Perhaps it is easiest to grasp the interrelationship between the Written Torah and Oral Torah if one views it from a religious perspective.  According to this belief system, the Written Torah and the Oral Torah were given by G-d to Moses on Mount Sinai at the same time.  Therefore, traditional Judaism says that the Oral Torah is holy as well. One can conclude that at the time, the Written Torah was given by G-d; it was all that was needed for life in the desert. However, the Oral Torah was intended to be passed down orally to leaders of future generations and applied as needed.

 

The Written Torah, although a sacred document can seldom be applied directly, without clarification, to the everyday lives of the Jewish people, simply because, the Written Torah is missing much detail and provides very little regarding ways to implement G-d’s intentions into actions, and laws.  In addition, as time passes, new challenges and issues arise, which need to be addressed.  Therefore Judaism created, with the Oral Torah, an interpretive tradition which is always evolving as these new issues present themselves. Working within this framework, in a limited sense, when one refers to the Written Torah, they are speaking of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.   Again, these five books contain ambiguities and missing information therefore, the Oral Torah is crucial to the preservation of Judaism. This crucial need for the oral tradition was illustrated by the Sadducees, a small sect of Jews whose position was that the oral laws had no authority and only the Written Torah should be followed.  The Sadducees endeavors failed due to the omissions, and they were forced to come up with their own oral tradition in order to practice the religion. 

 

Torah means teaching, therefore when one speaks the word Torah they are not necessarily referring to the five books; they can be referring to the oral tradition.  Some of the documents included in this Oral Torah are the, Mishnah, the Midrash of which there are two types, and the Kabbalah. 

 

Since Judaism has an oral tradition, one might wonder why the Oral Torah was eventually written down. Though one could make the argument that the Oral Torah should have remained oral; the writing of it is logical and necessary for several reasons. In the process of being transmitted from person to person and over time, much of the information is changed and lost.  In order to keep the tradition alive, leaders had little choice but to write it down so that people would not forget what to do as Jews during the course of their daily lives. It proved to be very necessary as the Jews moved around to different communities for various reasons especially exile, and were surrounded by other cultures and living under foreign rule.  Early on, as issues arose, over time, the leaders, using their wisdom addressed situations and wrote down what they had said but these writings were not organized into any specific or formal collection until later.

 

The Talmud embodies the study of Torah in the broadest sense and all it entails.  Very generally it is the Mishnah and Gemara. One part of Talmud, the Mishnah, is a compilation of much of those writings mentioned above; it came into being in around 200C.E. it is a collection of Jewish laws.  It also contains legal issues in which no decisions were reached as well as other miscellaneous material. Rabbi Judah Ha-Nasi is credited with compiling it into a collection organized by subject mater.

 

He arranged the material into six orders the first one is Zera’im or seeds which not surprisingly deals with laws of agriculture, Jewish blessings and prayer. According to Seeds, it is very important to avoid cross pollination between plants, therefore it discusses the space between seeds. In Judaism one must leave the corners of the fields untouched to benefit the poor.  Seeds discuses how large those corners must be. There are blessings for everything including crops which are very important to the survival of people. Included in this Tractate is discussion on how and when to recite prayer.  An example of a prayer discussed is the Shma.  One of the reasons Jews rely so much on the Oral Torah, is due to the fact that prayer was developed and has taken the place of sacrifice at the Temple.    The second order of the Mishnah is entitled   Mo’ed or appointed times.  This order contains laws having to do with the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays. In the written Torah, it says to keep the Sabbath holy, however, it does not go into further detail, and therefore Mo’ed discusses details on how to keep the Sabbath holy.  The third order is entitled Nashim or women.  This order deals with relations with women as well as marriage and divorce laws.  The fourth order of the Mishnah is called Nezikin or damages and is concerned with matters of criminal and civil law and what to do when lost and found issues arise.  The fifth order discusses sacrifices and the Temple which was destroyed for the second time in 70 CE.  This order is entitled Kodashim or holy things.  The sixth order of the Mishnah discusses the ritual purification and is called Toharot or Purities. Rabbi Ha-Nassi further organized the six orders by dividing each into Tractates numbering 63.  The Tractates do not have a set length. 

 

The Gemara is a collection of explanations, interpretations, theological arguments and discussions all of which is about the Mishnah.  Again, as times change, and developments are made, Judaism is faced with new challenges which need to be dealt with.  The Mishnah makes statements of law but the Gemara debates both the interpretation of existing laws and new laws which had to be created to deal with issues which were not addressed in the Mishnah.  When debates are made in the Talmud the Gemara explains the final ruling of the debate and also explains if no decision was agreed upon.  The Gemara tells the person reading it, not only what the final ruling was, if there was one, but also, who won the debate or argument.  The Gemara includes not only legal debates, but lessons, the personal stories of the rabbis, Jewish law and Jewish legends or folk lore.  There are two Gemaras in existence, one was developed by the descendants of the Jewish people who stayed in Israel after the destruction of the Temple, and the other Gemara was developed by the descendants of the Jews who lived outside of Israel.  The writings of the Gemara from the land of Israel began approximately in the years 350 – 400 C.E. and it was compiled by the year 500 C.E.  The writings of the Gemara which took shape in Babylonia were occurring until approximately 500 C.E. However, this particular Gemara was not in its final compilation until approximately 600 C.E.  Just as there are two Gemaras there are two Talmuds, the Babylonian and the Jerusalem Talmud.  The Jerusalem Talmud is shorter in length and was developed earlier than the Babylonian Talmud in approximately 300C.E.  In this document more emphasis is placed on agriculture whereas the Babylonian Talmud pays more attention to civil and criminal law.  The Babylonian Talmud was developed in approximately 500C.E. 

The purpose of Midrash or Midrashim (plural) is to try to make the biblical text more accessible or understandable.  A few of the most famous Halakhic Midrashim are as follows: Sifra on Leviticus, Sifrei on Numbers, Mechilta and Sefrei Devarim on Deuteronomy.  In general, the Halakhic Midrash dates from about 200 through 400 C.E. The Mekhilta, the Sifra, and the Sifre are believed to have come out of the Tannaitic period up to the time of 200 C.E. Halakhic Midrash are stories and interpretations designed to explain Jewish law.  On Succot, Jews are required to wave a palm, otherwise known as a lulav and a citron.  This is a requirement because the Halakhic Midrash says that it is.  It does not say that on the holiday of Succot you can substitute a citron for another fruit.  Therefore, waving of the citron becomes the Jewish tradition and required custom.    An  Aggadic Midrashim on the other hand, endeavors to fill in the blanks left in biblical stories.  For instance, in Genesis, after having relations with Tamar, how could Judah not have realized that he had not slept with a prostitute but in fact, had slept with his daughter-in-law? Furthermore, how could Jacob have married Leah when he spent seven years working to marry Rachel and what exactly was said in the story of Cain and Able before Cain killed his brother?  The Midrash attempts to give these stories possible explanations. 

 

The Talmud is not in the language of Hebrew as on might expect, instead it is in the language of Aramaic and is set up like a stream of consciousness.  In the Talmud rabbis discuss topics which lead them to discuss different topics before they have finished the original discussion or argument and eventually they manage to return to the original argument at hand.    The first known printed copy of the Talmud was discovered in Spain in the year 1482.

 

The Jewish people rely heavily on the Oral Torah to come to a better understanding of the Written Torah and its sometime implied and missing information.    As time goes on, things evolve and Judaism must evolve.  The Oral Torah is designed to ensure that Jews will have laws and teachings to follow as there surroundings change and time moves on.   For a last example the Written Torah says to keep the Sabbath holy. The Mishnah comes up with ways in which to do that and states that on the Sabbath it is prohibited to light a fire.  However, during the time that this law was made, cars were not invented.  The Mishnah does not say there will be no driving, what it says is that one cannot light a fire.  Since, the act of turning on the ignition of a car would cause a spark which constitutes fire; Jewish law has evolved to include the prohibition against driving on the Sabbath.  It is for this reason that Jewish law is not stagnant.  The fact that the law evolves as technology in the world evolves, allows Jews to survive.

 

 

 

 

 



I Am Woman
January 15, 2009, 4:32 am
Filed under: disabillity, Frum, Hashem, I am a Woman, Jewish, Jewish, Judaism, Orthodox, women | Tags: , , , ,

 

 

About six months ago I decided to change hairdressers, I got my hair cut by a different hairdresser and loved it when I got used to it. However, I didn’t like the way I was treated as a person, and tried to tell myself that the woman who cut my hair didn’t mean it. Let me explain what happened. I went in with another person and she spoke to that person about me instead of directly to me. My believe is, she saw I didn’t walk perfectly and thought I lacked intelligence. I was nice to her but didn’t like the way she made me feel. I find that I have to get my hair cut a lot because it grows so unbelievably fast. The next time I went back was about a month later. Being an Orthodox Jewish woman, I always wear long skirts or dresses. When I walked in to the hairdresser’s place of business I noticed the way she looked at me. I began to talk to her and as the conversion progressed the look didn’t fade. It was a look of bewilderment.  I had a gut feeling and I went with it. I started to talk with the person I came with, the same person I came with the first time I went to this hairdresser. It was small talk. I revealed nothing too personal about myself and nothing personal about others. I used the words in the community and in my community. Finally, my fairly new hairdresser said “What do you mean when you say your community?” I told her “I’m an Orthodox Jewish woman, that’s why I always wear long skirts and long sleeves. She responded very innocently “Oh I thought you were a cripple.” My gut feeling had been confirmed. The person who came with me was in shock, her eyes went wide and she looked as though she was holding her tongue waiting for my reply after hearing the word cripple, a word which I hate, a word which as far as I am concerned should be struck from the English language or should be considered a curse word. My response came calmly. “No I’m not a cripple. I just dress modestly. It makes me feel more comfortable.” She told me she thought it was became my legs looked deformed and I did not want people to see them. I told her honestly my legs don’t look deformed.

 

I must explain that this woman, who was not close to my grandmother’s age meant me no harm. I could see that she thought there was nothing wrong with her attitude or the word she used. Some people have told me she would have made them angry and hurt by her thinking and her use of such a terrible and untrue word. Getting angry would have been easy, what she said was hurtful, but I decided not to be hurt, to take it from where it came. The statements came from a sweet woman who didn’t realize she was saying or doing anything hurtful. I made a choice to educate instead of getting angry or allowing anger to cloud me.

 

I am not a cripple and I don’t believe cripples exist, that being the case as I said before, I believe with my whole heart that the word should be erased. It is a word that carries with in pain and untruth. I am not a cripple, I don’t walk perfectly but I am not a cripple.

 

I am a caring, understanding, compassionate, strong woman. I am a woman who is educated. I am a woman who has great faith in G-d. I am a woman who Thank-G-d has people who love and care about me. I am a woman with talents and a woman with so much love to give. I am a woman and I refuse to be defined nor should anyone else allow themselves to be defined as a cripple. I am a woman.              



A Love Story:My Lesson Learned

 

 

A while back, In the Pink wrote that she was conducting some research on True Love. I was temped to e-mail her a story on the topic, but held on to it, thinking it would be good for me to write about. The story I am about to tell you is a true love story, and while it is not my love story it taught be something incredibly valuable.

 

Last Pesach I was going through a very difficult time in my life. I thought I would be spending Yom Tov out of town, but I ended up spending it in my community which turned out to be a blessing. I was invited to lunch with friends of mine after Shul on the last day of Yom Tov. When I walked into the house I heard laughter from obliviously happy people and almost immediately met a married couple visiting from a much larger Jewish community in another state.

 

I have a small disability which people can see, I don’t walk perfectly, but I do walk, Thank G-d. My parents have always told me that my soul mate could have a disability, but this is not necessarily the case. I was almost entirely convinced last year that this was not true, that I had to marry someone with a disability. It hit me like a bolt of lighting when I looked at this couple that I was wrong. They were both accomplished, the wife was a school teacher with no disability, and the husband was a lawyer who just happened to be deaf. My heart soared when during the meal the wife told everyone how they met.

 

 She said she had gone on a Shabbos walk with a friend and they decided to stop at a house to visit a family. That family had a certain young man for a Shabbos guest, she gave him a Shabbos greeting, there were other people there and she joined in the small talk of the group. When she left the house with her friend that certain gentleman was on her mind. She told herself if she was still thinking about him at that time the following week she would do something about it. A week later he hadn’t left her thoughts. She called the family he had been visiting to do some detective work. All she heard was how nice and how helpful he was. Some time went by and with more investigating she was able to get an email address.  She emailed him, telling him where she had met him and pouring out her heart, telling him her interests, likes, dislikes, and so on. Her thinking was she had nothing to loose, if he was not interested in her, she would most likely not see him again and if he was interested she could have found the one. The idea that she might not ever see him again was what pushed her to write the e-mail. She had never done anything like that in her life. She was so excited when she saw a reply sitting in her e-mail box. She clicked on it and read. “Which one are you?” There had been other girls in the group. She remembered she had told him her name in the house that Shabbos afternoon. In reply she typed her name and pressed send. He answered her, shortly after that a first date was set up and than a second, shortly after that they were engaged and married.

 

Looking at this couple I remembered that my small disability could be a non-issue to a non-disabled soul mate. I only wish I could tell this amazing couple what an affect their true love and devotion to each other had on me. It was part of G-d’s plan that they met and married and I truly believe now it was part of HIS plan that I met them at the time I did, so that I could relearn something I never should have forgotten. Having that faith and knowledge restored is such a blessing and if I left town for Yom Tov I would never have met them at that time. They went back to their community the very next day.

 

May all of us find and hold on to love!



Yom Kippur is almost here: Letters of forgiveness

 

 

Hello Blog Readers,

 

  In previous posts, I have discussed repentance and gearing up for the New Year which has now come. What I didn’t tell you was how blessed I feel because of the New Year.  I haven’t told you before that I joyfully anticipated the New Year and that I am so happy that it is now here.  Last year was a very difficult year for me on a variety of levels.  One particular event which I may post about in the future stands out in my mind.  It is this event that causes me to think more than ever about forgiveness.  Seeking forgiveness and forgiving are very popular and necessary activates during these days of AWE.  In this past year, 5768, a person hurt me very badly.  If G-d forbid, I hurt someone, I do whatever I can to make it right.  Even more painful, than this person’s actions toward me was the lack of remorse shown.  This lack of remorse and the continuing behavior made it impossible for me to heal in front of them.  Every time I tried to express myself, all I got from this person was excuses and justifications.  The fact that someone could hurt me, be unapologetic and continue the behavior before I had a chance to heal from one ordeal was almost unbearable.  I truly believe the only thing that got me through and made me stronger, was my belief in Hashem, my belief that he does things for a reason.  In fact, for weeks there was a prayer I recited almost daily to strengthen one’s faith”, in a book called Aneni.  This prayer is very long but I made sure to say every word and I cried.  I cried many times saying this prayer begging Hashem to hear me, listen and count the tears that I cried.

 

I have been told by my friends that I am so good that I would step around ants,  I always want to do good and sometimes I feel that I don’t measure up.  We all know that we take out our pain on these we love most. That is where the saying you hurt the ones you love comes from.  I did this.  There are people in my life that I love dearly and I knew that they would always love me so sometimes, without meaning to, I took out my pain on them.  I told them I didn’t mean to do it and I told them how much pain I was in, but telling them that I didn’t mean to take the situation out on them didn’t seem to be enough.  During the month of Elul when I was first beginning my Teshuvah process, I wrote these people a letter thanking them for being so supportive, apologizing for taking out my pain on them, but acknowledging that my pain was no excuse, telling them and meaning it that I wasn’t mentioning my pain as an excuse. I was simply stating a fact.  I told them that I love them,  I told them how much they meant to me, I thanked them from the bottom of my heart, and as I wrote, tears rolled down my face.  Since I had been contemplating this letter for hours, I knew what I wanted to say, and didn’t expect the tears, but I was happy that they came.  That night I prayed to Hashem to help me completely let go of the pain that a certain person inflicted on me.  That night, I prayed to Hashem to help me forgive this person.  I knew the only way I could completely 100% move on was if I forgave this person.  I want to make one thing clear, I never wished harm on this person even after the person hurt me, but every time I thought of this person, I could feel the hurt.  In the beginning it was a throbbing pain, and as I began to move on, it became an ache.  The night that I prayed to Hashem to help me forgive, I released the person who hurt me from my life.  This means that if by some chance this person enters my mind there is no sadness and there is no anger there is no excruciating pain, and there is no ache.  I do not miss this person and I know I didn’t deserve the treatment that I received which at the beginning I blamed myself for.

 

 It is important to remember that just because you forgive someone for tremendous pain they may have caused you it doesn’t mean that you have to invite them back into your life.  It can just mean that you release them from your life. By this I mean you don’t think about what they would have said, or what they would have done in a certain situation, you don’t think about the cruel things they said about you, and you know the things that aren’t true.  Forgiveness can also mean that when releasing the person who injured you, you release yourself from a burden no longer worth carrying around.

 

I gave my letter seeking forgiveness to the people who helped me through a very difficult time and who always understood why I was in pain.  I received their forgiveness and they were happy to receive my letter, however there are times that I have forgiven someone by writing them a letter which I never send.  In some cases when you are trying to forgive a person, in my experience, they don’t always have to read or hear the words that you want so desperately to say.  Sometimes writing a letter forgiving someone and not sending it is enough to forgive and release yourself from pain.

 Although I feel that throughout the past I have been moving on, with the New Year, I feel completely free of the pain.  I feel as if the pain I felt was not my own but some other woman’s, who my heart can go out to.  Of course I know that the pain I felt happened to me because of the process I had to go through, in order to deal with. It made me a stronger woman, and I’m proud of that. 

 

Thank you Hashem for helping me through and helping me to become stronger than I was before!  Thank you Hashem for this New Year and may we all be sealed in the book of life for a good life of only Simcha.   Have a meaningful yet easy fast!