Monday, 26 January 2015

An Answer to a Silent Wish

Do you ever read Pirkei Avot? If you do, you might be familiar with a teaching that "...there is an eye that sees, an ear that hears and everything is written down in the book."
 (Teaching by Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi Pirkei Avot - Ethic of our Fathers, Chapter 2 verse 1)

Mostly we think of this in terms of what our actions are to keep us on the right track. But today, I had an insight to what this Eye sees and what the Ear hears and an idea that everything being written in the book can be for our own good too in another way, not just recording our actions in terms of what we might have done wrong.

Last week I posted a question in an "Ask the Rabbi group", concerning the Torah definition of an orphan. You see, I am often told that a person is only an orphan when they do not have a parent to help them financially and are a young child but once they are married or financially independent they are no longer an orphan. This idea troubles me. I was still at school when my late father died and to me, it's is not only finance at all. With each year that goes by I am aware how much I can not share with my father. I can not be with him at birthdays, send him a card or receive a card. I can't ask his advice, hear his voice, or a myriad of other tasks people tend to enjoy with their parents. I made a comment on the group that ended with something to the effect of "... a parent also shares your birthday with you."

For me, I live in Israel and my father is buried in Central Africa. Not only can I not talk to him on my birthday, I can't even visit his grave.

Today, as I was busy doing something, my husband let me know that Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, the Traveling Rabbi is visiting the cemetery where my father is buried. He posted pictures stating that the cemetery is well maintained, putting at ease the minds of all those who have loved one's buried there. I sent him a message asking if he can visit my late fathers grave and when told he could and did, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.

Someone heard and read when I wrote that a parent who left this world can no longer have contact with one at the time of a birthday. Yes, it is a week early, but the timing to me is perfect. It has been years since I had any contact with my father on my birthday. To me, everything is written down in a book reminds me of my "things to do list". Hashem really is in charge. He directs our footsteps. He co-ordinates timing of everything. As the Traveling Rabbi mentioned, he is only the Shaliach, it was all arranged in Shamayim.

So next time you say or do something, remember, there is an Eye that Sees, an Ear that Hears and everything is written down in a book. Now on the one hand, let that help you to keep on the right path, but for those of us who need a little comfort, we are not alone. Even if a loved one and a parent has left this world, there is still an Eye that Sees, an Ear that Hears and all our needs, everything is written in the book. He takes note of what is important to us and if you would like something like a message or Tehillim read at the grave of your loved one on their Yartzheit or close to your birthday, ask Hashem, He certainly has many messengers and can arrange all that is needed in the most perfect timing.

This blog post has been written by Shoshanah Shear, co-director of Bayit Chadash Gemach which is dedicated to assisting orphan Chatanim and Kallot at the time they marry. The Gemach is established in the merit of my late father Nathan Gershon ben Nathan who was born an orphan and was Niftar when I was still at school. The article is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission of the author.

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