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Monday, February 19, 2007

Wisdom from unlikely sources

One of the difficult aspects of making aliyah is the inevitable process of parting from friends and family.   Of course phones, video-chatting and the elusive promise of discount air-fares help take some of the sting out of this leave-taking... but the truth is that the physical distance can't help but impact one's most precious relationships.

Among our closest friends in Connecticut were the Rabbi of our synagogue and his wife.  Our kids were also quite close with theirs, and the proximity of their house quite literally 'right around the corner' made for an effortless, comfortable friendship.

As luck would have it, just when we were putting our aliyah plans onto the fast-track and worrying about how to begin the process of telling our friends, the Rabbi and his wife confided in us that he had accepted a 'pulpit' out of state and that they would actually be leaving before us.

I have to admit that watching them packing up their belongings and putting their house on the market was less painful for us since we were sharing many of the 'moving pains' and could commiserate with them over the things we would both miss about the wonderful community we had shared for so many years.

One poignant story from this period that sticks in my mind was related to me by the Rabbi shortly before they moved.  It occurred while the movers were packing up the truck with our friends' belongings which had been lovingly packed into countless cardboard boxes over the previous weeks.

Midway through the process of loading the truck the Rabbi walked into his house and met one of the movers carrying a large box that was obviously quite heavy.  The mover asked, "Hey Rabbi, what's in this one?  It weighs a ton!"  The Rabbi took a quick look at the code he and his wife had written on the box in 'magic marker' (to help ensure the myriad boxes would end up in the proper room in their new house) and replied, "Oh those are just some of my books."

The mover paused in mid stride... a sad, knowing smile on his face, and said "Well wouldn't you know it... my mama was right after all.    She was always on me about books.  She said 'if you don't read them, you'll end up carrying them'.  He then shuffled off towards the truck, swaying under the weight of the boxed volumes.

There are countless lessons one could take from this story... but chief among them is probably, 'Listen to your mother'.

[If my old Rabbi/friend is reading this, please know that we think of you often and miss you and your family deeply.  Oh, and in case you were wondering what inspired this post today... pitchers and catchers reported for spring training this week.   Bring it on.  :-) ]


Posted by David Bogner on February 19, 2007 | Permalink


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Ahh, pitchers and catchers. David, I'm inviting you now to a game when the Israeli league launches!

Posted by: Benji | Feb 19, 2007 11:39:14 AM

Alas, one must listen to their mothers, and their movers.

I am stoked over P&C...hopefully, this time, The Mets will go all the way.

From what I hear, G*d Himself is a fan.


Posted by: Erica | Feb 19, 2007 2:41:57 PM

David, your mother has asked me to remind you of another little pearl. When you were in first grade (or thereabouts) and not doing the writing assignments requested by your teacher, mom tried to motivate you by pointing out that, to be successful, you'd have to be able to write. You dismissed that one with, "I'll have a secretary."

Posted by: Del Bogner | Feb 19, 2007 5:50:03 PM

Hmmm. I wonder who that Rabbi was. It's entirely possible that he and I may have crossed paths, seeing as how we lived in the same general area in Connecticut...

Posted by: Elisson | Feb 19, 2007 6:02:00 PM


Of course He's a fan! How could He not be!!
Go Mets!

Posted by: nrg | Feb 19, 2007 6:40:47 PM

The Dodgers shall return to glory. Ani maamin.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 19, 2007 7:06:57 PM

only if they return to Ebbetts Field!! :-)

Posted by: nrg | Feb 19, 2007 7:32:50 PM

Ahhh, it's nice to be back here! Baseball been berry berry good to me... Even though I am from Seattle, back in the old days, when we used to say that "if God came down to play with the Mariners, they'd trade Him." Now in Baltimore, being a fan is equally trying. But these days, you need a DAILY roster to see who is playing for your team. Makes it tough to exercise fan loyalty. I am trying to remember what my mother would have said about that... Just spent last Shabbat with our former rabbi and rebbetzin, who also moved before we did... I know what you mean.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Feb 19, 2007 7:44:31 PM

About one year after I went to Israel to study my parents sent the largest piece of luggage ever to hit Israeli customs, it was 8 ft long by 4 ft wide and 2 ft high. I needed to hire a truck to bring it to my house in Jerusalem.

I did not feel homesick until I went through my books, stamp collection, and personal belongings. As I handled each item, memories began to flood over me. It took weeks to get over that sense of loss and longing.

Years later, after I already returned to the states, I came across my copy of the Torah with annotations in the margin. As I read my notes to myself, I recalled where I was and what I was doing when I wrote them and an overwhelming sense of loss and longing overtook me.

Go figure.

Posted by: bernie | Feb 19, 2007 9:25:54 PM

Pardon me, Trepp, for addressing one of your commenters in your comments section, but a short message to Jack [Be-Nimble], re: the Brooklyn Dodgers:

Imya'ertze Hashem, when Moshiach Yoshianu comes, hopefully after Beis Hamikdash III is built, we might put in a petition for a brand new Ebbets Field as well.

Because I know that, since 1957, my father just hasn't been the same.

Again, apologies.

Posted by: Erica | Feb 20, 2007 1:24:22 AM

Benji... I'll look forward to that!

Erica... Um, did I mention I'm a Red Sox fan (and still a little sore over game 6 of the '86 world series)? :-)

Dad... I'd forgotten about that... but even then you could tell I was destined for bone laziness. :-)

Elisson... I doubt you knew him as he was only in Connecticut from the mid 90's until 2003.

nrg... Oy. ;-)

Jack... You lookin' to buy me another round of sausages?

rutimizrachi... At least you have a nice stadium down there (and a kosher concession!).

bernie... Go figure indeed. We never appreciate what we have until it is history.

Erica... My father is also pining away for the Brooklyn Dodgers and only grudgingly became a Mets fan when the bums left town for LA.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 20, 2007 11:41:37 AM

That Israeli baseball league has a Red Sox connection.
But I don't get the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox. Why not the Samsons?

Posted by: soccerdad | Feb 20, 2007 6:30:46 PM


You looking to buy me another kilo of rugelach. ;)

Good luck with JD Drew and the other head case ManRam.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 21, 2007 8:44:35 AM

soccerdad... Logic? You're looking for logic here in the holy land? Friyer! :-)

Jack... Same bet, same terms?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 21, 2007 5:28:01 PM

I am game if you are.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 21, 2007 5:40:01 PM

The league's being run by a couple of Americans: Daniel Kurtzer and Dan Duquette. (the Red Sox connection.)

Posted by: soccer dad | Feb 21, 2007 7:32:56 PM

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