Out of Town

We moved 1000 miles away from our friends and family and just had a new baby....

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Nine Days

The halachos of the nine days are fairly clear:

1. You shouldn't buy new things or say shehecheanu.
2. You shouldn't decorate your home or make unnecessary repairs
3. You can't have a wedding or listen to live music
4. No haircuts, bathing for pleasure, etc.
5. No eating meat or drinking wine
6. No laundering or wearing fresh clothing.

In addition to these basics, some people, like my husband, take it to a different level. For those of you who know my husband in person, you know he is not one to be machmir or to take on chumras. However, when it comes to mourning for the Bais Hamikdash, and the current state of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael, he takes on many additional restrictions.

He does not engage in any types of group activities that are solely for fun. For instance, today, some friends wanted to go get ice cream at a shop. That is something he does not feel comfortable doing. We often have Sunday night dinners with another family, he also did not attend that tonight (although I did go with the kids). In general, he does not make me or anyone else follow his restrictions.

We do not attend baseball games or similar activities during the three weeks in general, so for sure during the nine days we do not go.

Until he really, really needs a shower, he does not bathe (except for erev Shabbos, of course), and then in cold water.

Lately, speaking to other people in our community, he was suprised that he seems to be one of the few who take on additional restrictions. Today, the shul league held softball games. People were surprised that my husband didn't want to participate in softball during the nine days. Is this something that only he is very careful with? Is he normal? In light of what is going on in Eretz Yisrael should we personlize our mourning?

It is very possible to follow the letter of the law and forget about the spirit. I hope everyone has a very meaningful week and a mournful Tisha B'av. May we be zoche to see the coming of moshiach and the rebuilding of the Bais haMikdash speedily and in our days.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A Different Framework

This past Shabbos morning, Aryeh (who is almost 4) came into my room. He started whining about needing something for his head. Since he was in his pajamas, and didn't have a kippa on, I told him maybe he should put one on. He gets even more irritated, and says, no, I need something for my head. I looked at him carefully, and I see he has a blanket over his shoulders, sort of like a cape. That is when it dawned on me what he wanted.

After Shabbos, I made him "something for his head." The next morning, he put it on, and I took this picture.

What he wanted for his head were tefillin. The blanket he was wearing was not a cape, it was his tallis. He wanted to daven like his abba. He wants to use a shtender like him, use his siddur, and he really wants tefillin. We have told him, that is a special present he will get when he becomes bar mitzvah.

I was so proud of him when I realized what he was begging for.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Hope everyone has a great day and remembers how nice America is for Jews....