How a Motherless Widow Embraced Kindness
[July 17, 2020: The Jewish Woman.org]
When I was a little girl, I used to love hearing my grandmother retell a Yiddish folktale about a miserable couple living in their cramped quarters with their many children.
They went to seek rabbinical advice and were surprised to hear that to solve the issue they need to bring a goat inside the house. The family was confused, but did as they were told by the sage. With this addition, they became even more miserable. The family returned to clarify what to do and astonishingly were advised to bring a sheep into the house. This went on until they had an entire barn inside the house. Finally, the house had become utterly unlivable and they went to beg the rabbi for help, and only then did the rabbi tell them to let all the animals out of the house. The couple did so and was ecstatic to be living in their now-spacious-feeling dwelling with just the family. Clearly, they were back to the beginning, but with a new perspective.
My grandmother taught me about life by sharing meaningful stories such as this one. Life can always get worse, yet we have an opportunity to transcend our limitations and look at the bright side of things, regardless of circumstances.
Some might say that the death of a 95-year-old woman should not be shattering. After all, at some point, death is no longer an unforeseen phenomenon but a natural occurrence. Yet a lifetime of wisdom could not prepare me for the loss of my grandmother, Zelda bas David, who passed away on May 6, 2020. Her vibrant spirit transcends her actual years on this earth. How can a heart so full of goodness and resilience just simply stop beating?
My grandmother’s life taught me that as a container is defined by its contents, life is identified by how one spends precious hours, days, years and decades... MORE