Sunday, May 12, 2013

What was bothering Shoshie? On her last day of Earth!

I can't remember a time -not one when Shoshie ever came to me with a problem, very few times did I ever hear her discussing anything that was bothering her with Denise. If something was bothering her which was a rare, rare occurrence, she had Devori and a few close friends to discuss with. If something did bother her she obviously talked about it and moved on. Never ever did I have to say to Shoshie "cheer up", "look at the bright side", "things will look different tomorrow" -never. She never down.
We lived with Shoshie - no moping, no complaining about people or girls, no drama - (maybe 1 night in all of years - just one) - Shoshie was low -low maintenance, very inner directed and was exactly like everyone is saying - she had a true joy of living, loved life and kept moving in that direction moment to moment. So rare for her to have a concern, be bothered by something ..... enough to even talk about it on her last day on earth.

I will qualify what I am about to say - I am totally not interested in who said what to whom. Of course it has absolutely nothing to do with Shoshie's passing -not one iota. It is something so common like drinking water and breathing air. It is something that most people are not mindful even if they had learned about the subject. It is something that is so normal - God runs every detail of this world-every- just being in the right place and the right time for this particular thing to happen is the work of the master artist whose is painting an evolving and unfolding tapestry. To us it looks like an up-close impressionist painting-dots we can't out what it is -blobs and blobs of paint that seem to have no relationship with one another - let alone will form together to make a picture. One day Moshiach will lead us to a place where we can see that canvas. Whoah ! breathtaking _ we will not believe with our own eyes and understanding just how these seemingly ridiculous occurrences, errant deaths, illnesses - all of our setbacks, set in motion deeper understanding, character building, drive and motivation - these became the seeds of pure chesed, the seeds of salvation, the seeds of utter pure goodness -they were sown through our trials, tribulations and over-whelming challenges. May Hashem bless us all with allowing us to see the painting in full bloom and make us forget our suffering as if it never happened - and that it will all have been a dream as we stand in the real life of reality and true -one of pure love.

I only share this as one of the most teaching points for our time and each and everyone of us. Everyone was innocent as can be. In this matter everyone almost all the time is as innocent as can be. May we only focus on the issue and ourselves and our relationship with God through it. Where are you truly with it? where are you holding in it? It's about you! Okay ....
Somehow Shoshie knew and found out that there was rumor about her that she was fat. This upset her enough to talk about it on her last day as a problem. Shoshie who rarely, rarely had a concern on her mind, had Loshon Hara on her mind. The less details that are said the better because the point is Loshon Hara and possibly Richilus.

I personally am not holding by the details. I don't want or need to know that would throw me in an illusory direction. And in all honesty they are not important- again it had nothing to do with the outcome- we all make each other feel bad with our words all the time. The point is that because of the circumstances, the fact that Shoshie's petira has opened our hearts, mind and soul just a little bit more- what are the things we can rally around to sanctify her life and memory, sanctify our lives, and impact the entire world around us.? How can we make the greatest difference in our own lives and the lives of all those we know? What does King David say are the keys to the person who "desires life and who loves the days of seeing good" - (happiness) How can we keep this unprecedented achdus going that we have established her in our community? And how can we best use the tools we got to "Keep Shoshie-ing" - be a source of vitality, joy and "life" to others, look out for the next person -"give up your seat" - let go for a moment - your needs, let the other person get it, have it, enjoy it - make peace between all people-go out of your way for the unpopular, the less attractive, the less personality- so what-make them feel included, affirmed, validated, respected, that they count and see the good in them- see them for who they truly are not your limited version of how you think they ought to be at any given moment. - see their greatness not their deficiencies. "Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit"

Achdus (Unity, brotherhood, friendship) is where "it" is at. Complete identification with one another - I am he, she is me-we come from the same infinite-formless power that we call God - We ultimately all share the same soul- we are confused the mask of color, status, religion, size - let alone hat, kippah, suit. Really! Really! Can we please allow the superficiality of appearances to be just a stupid thought in your head that you just open the door, that you don't grab a hold of and allow it to exit the back door. Keep in the front and center of your mind, heart, and soul -our common humanity, our common pain, hurt, challenge- don't we know how hard and difficult life is - for so many of us, so much of the time- if the elephant isn't on your foot now it could be the next moment - we have experienced the ultimate -no one knows from moment to moment what will happen and it could be you -chas v shalom

A member of our family Yael Lyons shared with me a story of someone who had embarrassed someone else just before they died. Their last interaction was one of embarrassment! Who knows the last time we see one another. We should ever, ever live with regret, guilt etc- chas v shalom. Get the interaction right the first time, know what your goal is, what is important to me- remind yourself how you have to view this person. I mean Shoshie always stood up for the teacher in school who was the most different, odd, peculiar, who didn't share the same back-ground, history of a people.

What are we going to do? What am I suggesting?
I suggest we start with our words. It also happens to be that taking responsibility of our words is an outreach project that I have been on and off working on for the past 6 years, it happens to be that one of the major prohibitions of how we speak "Rechilus" is a Mitzvah in the very same Parsha that was the last Parsha of Shoshie's life on earth -Parsha Kedoshim.

I hope I made my point as to what I think is the most important focused way to move forward, pick up the shattered pieces of our lives, promote friendship, harmony, love and unity - something that increases our tolerance, affirmation and respect for one another. More peace in our homes, between siblings, spouses, in-laws, at our schools amongst the girls and boys, our work-places, organizations and communities. Our Words Matter- let's use them to build the world not destroy the world.

May the small increase in our ability to be more conscious about the words we say, lead to more positive words that brings the light of redemption to our door. May we receive the blessings intended for us in our life time.

I pray to Hashem with all my heart and soul that these words only be taken in the right context, in the way for which I mean them to raise awareness of the Mitzvah not to speak Loshon hara and the importance that i feel in it's bringing us what we all need and want. If I offended anyone or came on too strong, created more difficulty, Gd forbid -not my intention-just someone who is facing an auspicious day on the American calendar with my beloved and cherished wife sleeping.


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