Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A little Pesach chizuk

Yom shlishi, 6 Nisan 5769.

My friend, Glenna, has a smile and a warm word or a story of encouragement for everyone.  Here is a story she sent to me.  She heard it from her friend, who heard it from her friend, who...

I’d like to share a favorite true story from a special friend of mine, Pearl K.  She uses the following to keep in a happy frame of mind while cleaning for Pesach.

Someone Pearl knows made aliyah.  She tells the following personal story:

"I was glad to be living in Israel, but one thing I really missed – besides family and friends I’d left behind, of course – was my washer and dryer.  I couldn’t afford those items as a new olah, and found doing laundry by hand an arduous physical chore.  I noticed, however, that my next door neighbor seemed not just philosophical about hanging up the wash -- she seemed to really enjoy it.  In fact, she acted as if it was her own personal celebration!

"I was so curious, I got up my courage to ask her about it in my broken Hebrew. What was such fun about hanging out laundry?

"My neighbor explained:

'I’m a holocaust survivor.  The concentration camp I was in was right near an ordinary Polish community.  I was a teenager, not at all sure that I would survive.  I’d look through the barbed wire enviously as Polish women nonchalantly hung out their wash.  I wondered if I would ever be blessed to get out of there, marry, have a family and the need to do large amounts of laundry.  It became my fondest dream.

'Well, with Hashem’s help, I did survive and was blessed in all those ways.  Is it any wonder that I’m thrilled by the task of hanging out laundry?'

"When I face making Pesach," continued my friend Pearl, "I think of that story.  It becomes not a personal chore, but a personal celebration.  There are, unfortunately, so many Jews who still have to hide to keep Pesach, and certainly more who had to in previous times.  Here I am, able to make Pesach openly, to go into major national stores and nonchalantly select kosher-for-Pesach items with no fear of a possibly-resurgent KGB or anyone else.  As I go through, cleaning out the junk from my life along with the physical chometz, how can I not – like my friend’s neighbor in Israel -- make it a personal celebration of thanks to Hashem?"

In these changing times and times of change, may all of us continue to feel how holy a gift is the freedom simply to live as Jews; and may we remember Whom to thank.


The Blogging Safta said...

WOW! What a story and a great outlook for life. Whenever I read a Holocaust story...I realize that my little pekelah are not so earth shaking.

Peasch is wonderful in Israel, even the cleaning....Now if I could only manage to find food without kitnyot .....
Chag Kasher V'sameach to everyone.

Linda said...

Thank you for this wonderful blessing.
I will clean with joy in my heart!
Chag Kasher V'Sameach to you and all of your family.

rutimizrachi said...

Miriam: No kidding! There are always little challenges to overcome. I can spend 15 minutes per label... which means I should have started my Pesach shopping just before Purim. ;-)

Linda: My work here is done. :-) The same to you and yours!

Unknown said...

Hi Ruth,

So nice to see Glenna's story here which I was so lucky to hear her tell!! Chag kosher v'sameach!

Sherri Z said...

Thanks so much for helping me stop and smell the roses.....er, I mean ...the laundry soap! My 'Pesach' stove is very close to my washer & dryer so I'll be printing out this story and attaching it there with a magnet! Now I know why I put the stove in the laundry area!
Chag Kasher V'Sameach
Sherri Z.

sandra said...

Beautiful story of chizuk. I used to complain to my mother about all the housework and errands I had to do. She would listen with empathy. But when she was older and sicker and no longer able to do for herself very well or anyone else, she would say, "Be glad you are able to do the things you need to do; I no longer can. That would put things in perspective for me. Glenna's story is a true Pesach story of freedom. Thanks for sharing!

Jack Steiner said...

Nice story, course I still hate cleaning.

Daniel said...

Amen; and please Hashem make it so for all Jews in the next world world.