Since I saw you the first time

Since I saw you the first time, during those short but long instants when you were learning to tell between water and air I knew I would have changed my belief system. I stopped complaining with G-d about the clear and understandable miracles He used to create for His nation while crossing the Red Sea. While in our times you should be able to remember His hand looking at the perfect syncronization of moon and sun. It’s unfair, I used to complain. How can we go on and proclaim all the world You are there, without having concrete proofs at our hands. Some secret cards to throw on that table game that is life, when everything seems to go against your convictions. Then you arrived.With that reddish color and slow voice. With pain mixed to joy, tears to hope, a new world compared to the existing one. A new creation born from prayers and love. You were there. With a white wrapping which reminded an envelope. On which there could be a stamp. Miracle on its way. And you, my little baby, arrived in my arms. Now, after two months, when you are embraced from your mummy far away from me, your grandma, and I can still smell the trace of your presence in my kitchen. After you left and the signs of the wheels of your carriage are still on the floor of my dining room. Now I find the brightness of ideas to declare to myself and the world that yes, you are the proof that open miracles are still happening every single instant and day. From the height of your infancy, like you were sitting on a throne made of breaths and voice which did not exist a few minutes earlier, you were a great teacher. Thank you my little Baby. I love you with all my heart. Oma

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When a Rebbe changed a world

It was not easy to stand for 10-12 hours, smiling at and blessing the person who was standing in front, as it was the first and only one. While there, just behind that man or woman, the was a queue that arrived four blocks further.

Being a leader means giving a special value to each person.

It was not simple to receive hundred and hundred of letters every day and answer to each one as it was written by your best friend.

Being a leader means being able to listen.

It wasn’t usual to send just married couples at the other limit of the world with the only goal to awaken and renew judaism between people who forgot who they are.

Being a leader means to be able to convince people they can really change the world.

Not everybody accepted the idea of putting tfilin around an arm able to bring non kosher food to its mouth and switch a light during shabat. An arm so important as the person to whom it belonged only because it was jew.

Being a leader means to love everybody and not judging anybody.

It was not a common scene to see prime ministers, presidents, generals and scientist all coming to take an advice from the same person. Who usually was not even graduated in the topic he was giving precious advices about.

Being a leader means to be searched for your wisdom and ability to solve impossible problems.

Not everybody is able to pray for the sake and healing of people never seen before. With the same concentration and devotion as a father does for his son.

Being a leader means to care for every single member of the group. More than for you.

Not everybody had the courage to speak and shout about the right of Israel to keep all its lands for itself. And the absolute danger there is in giving a piece of land in change of something our enemies really don’t want. Though international pressure and political wars, Israel had to stand for its right to exist without compromises and mean ways.

Being a leader means to do something that most of the people are scared to do.

No one was speaking of mashiach, of better times, of prophecies becoming true of bottons to shine as the last step for the redemption.

Being a leader means to have a vision and being able to share it with the whole world.

Leaders are there because there is work to do.

There are people who need, problems to solve.

Challenges to undertake, dreams to be shared.

Leaders know when it’s time to light on a candle instead of staying there criticizing the dark that is everywhere.

A leader is there 24/24, 7/7 to serve his people.

These are only a few features of a person who dedicated every minute of his life to make this world a dwell for G-d and a better place for life.

Rebbe, may we deserve to see you again with our flesh eyes.

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may your soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life

We are here again. For the 14th time. Since that Nissan 3rd during which it was decided from Above, your life was at its end. How could I imagine the kiss I received from you was forever the last one? How could I know I would not feel your strong arms around me before leaving my home? How could I foresee that one day I would have found myself  thinking of you as a light ray, a soul staying under the Heavenly throne, a person who comes to visit his dears only during night and dreams? For every tear I am sheding for you today, I have a special memory to think inside me. As those hot days spent in the Jewish Cemetery of Venice, washing and cleaning tombal stones of Jews dead five hundred years ago. Because you were scared that, one day, nothing will last of those precious engraved words. Discovering the symbols of ancient Jewish Italian families, as the two hands for the kohanim, the lion for the famous Leon da Modena, the eagle for the nobles. Or those endless journeys to Stasbourg to buy  kosher food and meat when you decided it was worthy to travel one and a half hour more in order to go and see the beth hamidrash of Rashi, where he used to study and bring down to this earth heavenly words and explanations. And that Menorah Lego shape. Which you proudly showed me after having worked on it for nigths and days. It should have been the realizzation of your dreams. The Menorah was a miniature plant of the Italian Jewish Museum you were dreaming to build. But in Heaven there was a different plan. And it was decided you were desired there, directly under the Celestial Throne. During this day in which it seems to me I can still hear your voice and not  the kadish said in your memory, I wish you look from above and you smile. Because you are proud of your children. Whom, in every moment of their life, try to go on with your interrupted job spreading and showing the only thing will last after we are not here anymore, is our good deeds and beliefs. Your love for Judaism, for its roots, for its ancient messages perfectly fitting future generations, is always with us. As you are. My dad, my dear papi. May your soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life (as you taught me to say for those who were not with us anymore)

Gheula, Aviva, Ronnie, Gady and Naty

 

A new page in lifebook…

Today I changed the sheets of the beds. I looked for the most comfortable pillows. I opened the new bed covers I was keeping for a special occasion. I cleaned the floor, I finally moved from its unnatural place the picture of the children. In the old frame. It was standing in the corner of the room for more than three months. Waiting for a special guest to come. I removed all the papers from the desk, I cleaned the dust of two weeks on the printer. I moved the curtain, making it appear as a hotel piece. I sprayed roses parfum in the room. I switched off the light. I locked the door. And I breathed deeply. I am ready, spiritually and materially, to be a real mother in law. In my home. Suddenly I feel as I am my mother. The way she uses to welcome us in her home is always so unique, making you feel as somebody was really waiting for you. And as this somebody is really, really happy to see you. So, with G-d’s help, in a few hours I will open a new page in my life book. A page that speaks about grown up children and their new way of being part of the family, a page relating a story of history. And how it repeats itself. From generation to generation, from mother to daughter, from daughter to grandaughter. To son in law. Welcome to my life new old members of my family. I hope that though immersed in a new life, here, in your old room and with the new sheets, you will always feel home.

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How much do you depend from external world?

In year 2012 there is still somebody who disconnects himself from the web. In order to be able to remind himself there is another life dimension. In which it is possible to live without wires, net, and electromagnetic waves. In  year 2012 there are still people who, deliberately, take out the breath from their cellphones. Though that important call should arrive a few seconds after they oushed off. In year 2012 there are those who assign to a timer the task of switching off their dining room lights. And the most interesting article of the week, will not have any chnace to be read. When the timer declares it’s time to go to bed. In year  2012, believe it or not,  there are houses where food must be enough for supper and the next lunch. In which fires will not be used for 25 hours. And rice, lasagna, meat and fish will be kept at the rigt temperature on a food warmer. Making you think they  forgot to tell you time machine was invented. And it works well, indeed. In year 2012 there are some people who, deliberately, look at their children’s eyes. Listening to them, concentrating on thoer words. Being able to attach to Maslow’s pyramid of primary  needs and values the label ‘family’In year 2012 there are people who, without having being fired, stop to work. They don’t look for new customers, they stopo being obsessed by statystics and sales. And they are able to see G-d’s hand as the starting point of everything they own. In year 2012 there is Joseph Cedar a film maker whose movie was nominated to Oscars, who walks for 2 miles to get to Salomon Goldwin Theatre. Because during that day nature cannot be modified. Though you could win the most desired prize in the world. In year 2012 there is an American senator,Joe Lieberman, who ran for the presidentials a few years ago, who writes 230 pages on that wonderful invention called shabat.  The gift of rest. A story about his true self. That is able to come out again every seventh day. A magic island in the routine life, that helped him getting new energies in serving his country. In year 2012 there is Beppe Severgnini, an Italian journalist, who sees in seven days of disconnection from the wb, the biggest challenge ever happend on earth. A journalist who three different television channels are fighting to have. In order for him to tell his unbelievable adventure. based on a brave week lived without internet (but with cellphone, fax and television). Internet addiction test.  From tomorrow offline for a whole week. He declares in 140 characters on Twitter. Maybe ignoring that in year  2012 there is a whole nation who challenges technology and itself once a week. To try and outride the world addiction test. A bunch of people who disconnects for twentyfive hours of shabat, the Jewish holy day, declaring weekly the right of living without any incursion from the external world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYQ30D0eppc&feature=related

now it’s your turn…

Aleph Tevet 5772

Dear Sarah,

in a few days you will be under the chupa. Standing beside the man you have chosen to share your future with. From that moment your life will not be the same anymore. You will not be able to wake up late at morning knowing that no responsibility is on you. You will be a wife. And, with G-d’s help, a mother. Your children will smile if you smile to them. Your husband will come back home happy if you will show him you are happy to see him back home.  Your kitchen will be kosher if you  keep G-d’s laws about food. Spirituality will dwell in your home if you welcome it to stay. Love for Torah, for G-d and for His way will find a place in your family’s heart, if you are able to transmit them your message.

Maybe it’s not only by chance that your wedding will happen to be just after the days of Chanuka, during a cold winter night of Tevet.

Chanuka is a festival during which we celebrate the victory of a few Jews on a great number of people who wanted them simply to assimilate. To live their attachment to G-d through compromises. A festival to remember the victory of a reborn Jewish identity. A festival which symbol is not a weapon nor a sword. But a small pure oil jar, found after hours of hard research. Jews didn’t want to light the Menorah with a non pure oil. Even if they could do it, even if it was admitted for that exceptional matter. They didn’t want to celebrate a victory through a compromise. They wanted to live their identity with a pure and total serving heart. Jews tried the hard way and G-d rewarded them. Eight days of growing light, for thousands years to come.

Time has come to close this short but intense period of our life. From now ahead there will be, with G-d’s help, your husband beside you.

Take with you the secret of endurance during time of the small flame of Chanuka. The oil that gave life to it was made of pure Torah. There was not a trace of a compromise. This is the way Jews could survive during thousands years of exile.

Though sometimes it can seem very hard to go on and live with strong principles, never give up. Don’t let any trace of compromise on Torah and G-d, enter in your life.

And if that small flame is here today, able to share with us the story of our nation through the winters of exile, there is no doubt anyone can do it.

Go now, it’s your turn. To light the new flame that will burn for many years, b’h, ahead.

Mazal tov my little baby, I will never forget. This wonderful period that G-d gave us as a present to share. I love you with all my heart.

Yours forever,

Mami

A wish list

Here’s a short list of what I would still like to do with you.
I would like to breast feed you some more
I would like to teach you to walk again
I would like to repeat with you ‘mummy’ slowly as once
I would like to push you on the swing for the hundredth time without complaining
I would like to take you again to first grade hand in hand
I would like to reassure you before the vaccination
I would like to hug you after a bad dream
I would like to tell you that I love you though you have scattered all your toys
I would like to teach you my preferred song
I would like to dance with you while you are dressed in that fluffy and shiny pink dress
I would like to embrace you at the age of 10
I would like to eat with you those chocolates in which you invested all your money at the age of 12 and for which I shouted you for two days
I would like to lie down in the bed with you counting the florescent stars we attached on the ceiling
I would like to understand some more what you were thinking at the age of 14

I would like to kiss you goodnight at the age of 16 even though you were not hanging the phone

I would like to go around for shopping once again without looking at the watch

I would like to fill the air with all my love for you and let you smell only this smell for the past 19 years.

I would like…read it again and again, my sweet love and try not to forget any of these wish list points with your future, with G-d’s help, kids…

A dream, a knapsack and a shouting baby

Who could imagine your taste for nice clothes, that made us spend so much during the last 19 years, would have been one day so apreciated by someone?

Who could imagine your love for good food, that sometimes forced you to make rush diets, would have once transformed you in the best cook ever?

Who could imagine your dream of being dressed in a fluffy gown, that made you draw so many dresses on your schoolbooks, would have become real one day?

Who could imagine your special brown eyes, that made you call ‘princess’ after 10 minutes you were in this world, would have become one day so laughing and so charming?

Who could imagine our freedom lover, who was dreaming to cross all the world with a knapsack on her back, would have one day loved to stay home waiting for a phone call?

Who could imagine a girl who loved to sleep and woke up for 19 years with an angry expression on her face, could one day wake up with a smile for the coming day?

Who could imagine that little girl cheating during the memory game, going under the glass table and looking at all the cards, would have one day become a woman as you are today?

Who could imagine we would have arrived to that day, during which we should  be preparing mentally to this, with G-d’s help, wonderful and happy life trip while still not able to believe our baby is already at this important step?

Who could imagine one day we will have to let our little shouting, always sleeping, smart, dreaming baby, become his beloved lady?

When an address smells of love….

I have a file from the last event I organized. There, some scattered, you can find all the names of those invited five years ago to our party. Name, address, confirmation. There are some people whom are not living in Milan anymore, becuase of their job or their studies. There are some people who moved. And their address is not the same anymore. I was reading the list hoping to find as much useful information as I could. And then suddenly, her name was there. So bright, so sweet, so full of taste of home. So smiling, so embracing, so smelling of tagliatelle with ragù and italian style artichoques. So linked to a past I’ve loved with all my heart. To those rainy milanese Sundays in which we were all forced to go there. Despite your friends, homework, studies and fun. To those difficult days in which the temperature outside was speaking of snow and I used to put all my little children, included the new baby of that period, in my car. Her name is flashing now on my screen. Reminding me that when we have the opportunity to give somebody our love, we don’t have to miss that chance. Nonna Alba, my grandmother is still with us, thanks to G-d. She is living in Israel now and I feel a hole in my heart when I pass in front of her house, here in Milan. Or when I bake the chocolate cake filling the air with the same smell she used to communicate us her love. I don’t need to send her any invitation. Becuase she is on a chair, waiting only for someone to come and kiss her when you happen beside her. I miss her so much. I think I will write her name on an envelope anyway. Just to feel her close to me now, in this precious time, during which I am living one of the most amazing adventures of my life. And just to remember, in any case, how it is important to learn and apreciate every single little detail, as an address written on an invitation envelope, containing the name of those whom you really love.

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