I'm looking out my window at the office (I work once a week writing intellectual property for a computer company) and I see...sheep. Lots and lots of fuzzy little sheeps, circling around a mound of dirt. No owner in sight, but there is a responsible-looking dog sort of moseying along with them.
Y'know, when people ask how I could have left America three-and-a-half years ago and moved across the world to Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), I really don't understand their question. How could I NOT have left? How could I have given up the opportunity to live in this beautiful, resplendent, magnificent country, where there's such a special quality of life that can't be replicated anywhere else. That's my basic response to them and it usually satisfies my askers. But on days like this, when the sky is filled with clouds and the verdent winter hills are lusciously jade from the heavy rains, my heart soars. And a herd of sheep out my window doesn't hurt.
I invite you, too, to come live in the best place on earth. We can be neighbors :-).
I just love the sight of little, stubby legs protruding from under a huge umbrella. Delicious. It's raining in Israel, and the whole country is singing. My kids make a mad dash for the puddles and I couldn't even care less. It's raining, and that's a good thing.
It's so interesting to me how the same reality can be both good and bad. Rain is a blessing. It will make the produce grow well. It will make my garden healthy and green. It will lower my water bill because now we've been hit with a drought tax. At the same time, the rain makes the sky grey and bleak. It will ruin my carefully-coiffed wig. (Carefully coiffed? Yeah right!) It's inconvenient and messy and, well, y'know, wet. But I am rejoicing at every droplet. I hardly give a though to the rain's sludgier side. (And anyway, I look pretty cute in a hoodie :-))
Isn't that the way it is with many things in life? Every event can be both bitter and sweet at the same time. It's how we choose to view it. Same thing. Different perspectives. Last night, I spoke to a woman who is very, very wise and special. When I asked her how her day was going, she sighed. I know what usually comes after a sigh--"Can't complain!", or "Stressful!" or "Tiring!" or "Could be better..." Imagine how shocked I was to hear her say, "My day is just terrific. It is just wonderful! It is going great, thank G-d!"
"But you ALWAYS say that!" I protested. "C'mon!"
And she said, "Because that's the reality I choose. I choose to be having a great day--so I have a great day. Life's too short and precious to complain."
She's singing in the rain. Today, so am I. I wonder how it would transform my life to sing in other downpours as well.
Having read this week's parshah (Torah portion) about the tragic slander spoken by the Spies about the Land of Israel, I felt compelled to post about how much I LOVE living here. As in L-O-V-E. Having made aliyah from the States, where we lived in a four-floor house with two cars (now that I've falsely conjured up images of luxury, let me just date the cars as '88 and '92; as for the house...no comment!) I will be the first to say that life here is not as easy as it is in America. But what you get here in terms of emotional and spiritual fulfilment is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
This is a real, actual, unedited conversation overheard on the bus. I will give you my take on it at the end, allowing you to swish it around in your mental wine glass and savor the aromas for yourself first.
Not like Hamas is shooting rockets a dozen or so kilometres from my home...
About Riva Pomerantz
I'm a freelance writer, widely published in several magazines including the internationally-distributed Ami Magazine and Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly. Riva's work also appears on the award-winning website www.aish.com, amongst others. You can buy my books here.