My health issues (which baruch Hashem, are quite minor, and with Hashem’s help will vanish soon) still make it difficult for me to say asher yatzar wholeheartedly. Sometimes the best I can manage is a distracted mumble. At times, it was an ‘at least I am halachikly able to say asher yatar. Even though I have to lean against the wall to do so.’ I remember a few times where I literally cried my way through it. (Even negative emotion is better than apathy.)
Now I’m more on the apathetic side. I try to have kavanah, but really? Usually, the only times people want to talk to me are between leaving the room and asher yatzar. Or I’m in a rush. Or both.
I’ve been reading a lot about the four Kedoshim who were murdered last month. I read so I won’t forget. And in school, when the topic was briefly brought up, it suddenly clicked in me. They were people who served Hashem at levels we all daven to reach. They were tadekim. They used every moment well. They served Hashem much better than I can. Why aren’t they alive? And why am I? If Hashem didn’t give them more life, why did He give it to someone like ME?
And so every day, whenever I remember, I thank G-d for the challenging, frustrating, miserable, amazing, rewarding gift we call LIFE.
My baby brother came home from Shul this Shabbat with a new black hat. A Borsilino, too. (He seemed to find that significant. I don’t even know if I’ve spelled it right!)
Someone in the community had a bunch of gently worn hats that he no longer needed for some reason. The one my brother brought home was in such good condition that it could have been sold for a good profit. Instead, he chose to give them all away– not to a charity, or to a poor person specifically, but to anyone who needed or wanted a new, good hat.
The Torah talks about the crown of a good name. Give away a simple (or not so) hat, and get a crown. Hm, let’s see if I have any hats to give away!
If you don’t already know who I am, dear friends, this post will seal the deal for sure. This happened some time last year.
I love my high school. In fact, one of the things I dislike the most is how long it takes me to get there. Mornings, for various reasons, are shorter, but the average for an evening (no snow!) is an hour. 45-50 minutes on the bus, and then a short walk home. (Ten minutes if I’m fast, and 15 if I’m feeling lazy!)
And one day, we had a driver who doesn’t usually drive our route. For some reason, the girl at the very last stop wasn’t there that day. And, inexplicably, that it was somehow ok to drop me closer to my home, and double back to the original route. Not something that could happen every day, the driver stressed. But for some reason, today was ok. Today was also the day where I had almost literally fallen asleep multiple times. I couldn’t face the walk home, and I wasn’t able to get a ride.
I asked to be dropped at the end of my street. I was dropped right by my front door. “Hashem loves you.” Said the driver.
I heartily agree.
He’s not standing right at our side where we can see. We are riding on His shoulders.