What to write about? It’s not as if there is nothing; au contraire, we live in interesting times, as they say, for better and for worse (and often it seems as if it’s mainly for worse).
So instead of writing about the economy (what there is of it) and resultant increase in Aliyah to Israel, or the global increase in anti-Semitism and almost universal blame on Israel for…everything, or the potential suicide bomber thwarted by a vigilant (thank G-d) IDF army and security guards in Qalandiyah (my son perhaps one of them, as that is his territory), or Bibi’s capitulation to Washington by implementing the building freeze in Judea and Samaria (the so-called“settlements” in the “West Bank”)—instead, I’ll write about…my birthday!
Yes, I just had a birthday (good Lord, not another one), two, in fact: my Hebrew date is Yud-Dalet, the 14th of the month of Kislev (for those clueless, it is Kislev right now: the Chanukah month), and my secular birthday is December 7th, a day that will always, ahem, live in infamy, as the radio blasts out when it automatically comes on in the morning. On my birthday. Every year. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, right?
Anyway, this year my birthday was especially special; I mean, it is every year, of course-- but this year, my husband finally succeeded in pulling it off. Pulling what off, you ask? (I thought you’d never…)
We were at a lovely fahrbrengen, a Chabad get-together event at our local (only) kosher restaurant, in honor of the Jewish date of Yud-Tet Kislev (which is the 19th of Kislev), an auspicious day for Lubavitchers because of the release of Reb Shneur Zalman from prison in
I was embarrassed, but secretly pleased. You have to understand, that the last time my husband tried to pull off the ‘surprise cake’ bit it was for our anniversary at another community event, and the caterers forgot to bring out the cake!
What was even more humbling is that the speaker, who had actually come into town for one of the other simchas, somehow worked the fact of my birthday into his dvar Torah, about the Alter Rebbe. All in all, it was a great evening, and the next day—to top it off—all my kids in Israel and in the States, and the grandkids—called me and sang (yes, sang) the birthday song to me in two languages (no, it’s not the same tune in Hebrew. There are at least three different Hebrew/Israeli birthday songs that I know, and they sang two of them.).
Now, that is a great birthday! And Chanukah starts Friday night. I love my birthday month!