Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Prayer for a Son

Ultimately, each person must find within themselves whatever they need to get them through whatever life throws at them or find the assistance they need. Overall, I believe I have been so blessed and each of the challenges that comes my way presents me with a new opportunity to learn and grow.

Yesterday was the eve of the Hebrew month of Sivan. Sivan is a gentle month for me, which follows the months of Nissan and Iyar. Nissan is the month in which we celebrate the festive holiday of Passover. It's a hard month for mothers, wives...well, for everyone. First, there is the preparation, then the long holiday, then the clean up. It's exhausting.

Iyar is a month filled with celebration and excitement. This year, especially, as we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the re-founding of the State of Israel. What was ours 2,000 years ago, is ours again and we celebrate our freedom and independence and all we have accomplished in these short 60 years. It's an emotional month in which we commemorate our Memorial Day and then jump into the celebrations for our Independence Day.

Finally comes Sivan, the month in which the people of Israel stood before Mount Sinai and became a people, were given our laws and our destiny. Whatever we were before we stood there, was changed as we were blessed and given our future. It's a gentle month in which we honor what we have been given.

In Nissan, we physically clean and prepare. In Iyar, we physically dance and celebrate and in Sivan, we honor the more internal, the more spiritual. Just as we celebrate the special relationship the Jewish people have with God this month, on the eve of the month, we celebrate and show our gratitude for our children and the relationship we have with them. We pray, especially on this day, that our children will be all that we dream they will be.

And so yesterday, I joined thousands (if not more) of parents around the world who said a prayer for their children. There is the formal prayer that asks God to bless our children and make them righteous individuals, have them walk in the way of our culture and religion, and grant them peace. And, there is the informal prayer in which we ask God for all the personal things we want for this child or another.

This one should learn to internalize less, this one learn to curb anger. This one should be granted this particular need or desire, and this one should be protected even more. Each according to his or her need, each according to the life they lead. Each week, as I light the Sabbath candles, I do the same thing - each individually, all collectively.

As a people, we were granted a great gift - the Torah and the life and laws it contains. As a family, we have been gifted with this moment in time, this day, this week, this month.

Elie's clean uniforms are washed and folded on his bed, waiting for him to come home on Friday. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, I will pray that my son, and all our sons, are safe and healthy and happy.

May the blessing of the new month be with you and may it bring only good things to all of us.

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