Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Other Brothers

Today, Aliza had lunch with one of her other brothers. David was in the army; Shmulik was with his wife's family; Elie was home with his wife and daughter. We went with Aliza to have lunch with Chaim and his sister and her family.

Often when we go to someone's home for a meal, Aliza doesn't really have anyone her age and soon wants to "escape." Sometimes we let her; sometimes we don't. Today, she didn't even ask. We had a wonderful time, enjoying a meal with people who are more family than anything else. We adopted Yakov when Elie first met him and asked if he could bring a friend home. The friend was learning in Israel, while his family remained in the States.

We walked through the next few years with Yakov - into the army and out...our first exposure to what life was like as the family of a soldier. He came to us exhausted, falling asleep during the meal. We went to the army ceremonies and filmed him and cheered...and then he brought us Chaim.

Chaim is a few months older than Shmulik - and as we went through the army with our middle son, we shared in Chaim's army experience as well. And so both boys became ours...

A few years after Yakov had gone back to live in the States, get married and have his first two children there (he's now back home here in Israel!)...I asked Aliza if she remembered Yakov. She was only 7 when he went back to the States. Her answer was, "Of course I remember him, he's my brother."

It is a feeling we all have and are blessed because they feel it too.

So as I was talking to Aliza after Shabbat ended, she explained about how much she enjoyed today, how she likes being with Yakov and Chaim. "They listen to me," she said, "more than my other brothers." How amazing that when speaking of her "real" brothers, they were called "others" while Chaim (and Yakov) was simply her brother(s).

Her "other" brothers listen to her but they have known her all her life and so they sometimes still treat her like the child she once was. Yakov and Chaim treat her as she is. They grow with her and enjoy who she is today.

I think her "blood" brothers adore her but she'll always be their baby sister. And more than once, Yakov and Chaim have stepped in to "protect" her. So today, even though all her brothers weren't around, Aliza still got to have lunch with one of her brothers.

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