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Archive for the ‘Shabbat & Jewish Holidays’ Category

The waterfall of my dreams

I have mentioned in prior blogs that the hardest part of infertility is being in the Orthodox Jewish world.  While it is wonderful that we are thwarting Hitler through the birth of every Jewish baby, being left out is the toughest emotional challenge.   No matter how small or large the shul is,  even with the passage of time, the pain is still there.  There is no escaping pregnant women or birth announcements.  Recently I heard the announcement of the birth of a baby boy.  I feel crappy for myself although I am happy for the family.  I cried out to Hashem that the pain is becoming very unbearable.  The burden and guilt associated with being the one with the fertility issue hurts to the very core of my neshama.  Yet what can I do?  I am powerless, at the mercy of Hashem’s compassion and loving kindness.

I do not know what words of encouragement that I can offer to myself and others as I go through this pain which is a natural part of the process.  I am learning a lot about myself through this very unpleasant journey across the valley of infertility.   There are certain negative characteristics that have been instilled in me through my very super critical parents.  As a child, I was compared to others.  I also heard tons of negative comments about other people.  As a result, it has been ingrained to view myself in the context of other people.  As Rabbi Arush would say, we each have our individual soul correction to go through.  I am having a tough time accepting the fact that infertility is part of my soul correction.  The fact that other women have babies, or are pregnant, has no bearing on my present circumstance.   The challenge is to accept my suffering with love and  enuma, with the knowledge that soon this present situation will be over.

I have also heard that if we all were to lay down our packages, representing the very tests that Hashem has given us, and offered a choice of selecting a package that we could live with, we would pick the original package that was given to us.

As for the waiting and waiting until I get to travel to see my doctor for the next round of treatments, I must be patient and use this time to the best of my G-D given ability to grow.  May the tears of pain that I weep today turn into tears of joy over the unfolding of Hashem’s greatest miracle.

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Having just emerged from Simhat Torah, the High Holidays are finally over.  Overall,  I enjoyed the High Holidays which were very good and refreshing despite the occasional twinges associated with seeing children on their tatti’s shoulders during Hakafos.  I kept whispering to Hashem, “Please let it be this year!”  This is a new year with a fresh opportunity to draw closer to Hashem and grow from this test.   I am feeling extra sensitive, and hope to direct it toward being sensitive to other Jews and their pain.

I read a very encouraging story about a New Year with a New Mazal.  A couple in Yirushalayim had struggled with infertility for 19 years, and the fertility clinic had no hope to offer.  Yet they refused to give up and persisted with their davening.  Both were very diligent about their Torah observance. The husband, Moshe, was unusually careful about one particular mitzvah, Kiddush Levanah.  Every month he anticipated this wonderful mitzvah of blessing the new moon, and a new month.  One month due to the cloudy skies and rain, he could not view the moon so he proceeded to find a location where he could perform this mitzvah.  Finally, on the 14th of Teves, he and his friend drove to a place near Chevron for Kiddush Levanah.  After performing the mitzvah, they danced and sang and then proceeded to daven at the burial place of Rochel Imanu.  A group of Chassidim had been moved by the way Moshe had said Kiddush Levanah and the happiness with which he performed this mitzvah.  They approached him and requested that he share his story. After hearing Moshe’s story, they each requested Hashem for Moshe to be blessed with a child, and pleaded with Rochel Imamu to cry and daven for Moshe and his wife to have a baby.

A little over 9 months later, the couple were blessed with twin girls.

As the 11th of Chesvan approaches, the yartzeit of Rochel Imanu, I pray that we all will be blessed with our little miracles.  Please Rochel Imanu please please daven for Rivka Rochel Bas Sarah and Noach Shlomo Ben Chaya, and for every childless Jewish couple who have month after month and year after year cry out for children.

May this be the year of ultimate spiritual transformation and good news of  miracles after miracles after miracles.

Let us all draw closer to Hashem and perform each mitzvah as if our very lives depended on it!

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Rosh Hashana | Hebrew New Year's 2010
Image by Lilachd via Flickr

I am encouraged to see that over 400 people have viewed my blog and I hope that in some way several of you are encouraged by my writings.  If so, I have a lot of joy, knowing that in someway I made a tiny difference.  I hope to see your comments.  I also welcome suggestions.

Rosh HaShana 5771.  We are in a New Year.  Am I excited?  Part of me says yes and the other part no.    Yes – because we are in a New Year, and therefore, a chance that my Decree from Shamayim will be sweet with good news of my pregnancy and birth!  No – because for several Rosh HaShana’s I hoped against hope that this would be the year that I became pregnant, and each year ended in painful disappointment.

I look back over the years to see if I learned anything.  Did I grow?  I think so.  I went from being a Conservative Non-Jew who went to a Conservative synagogue to becoming an Orthodox Jew.  My husband and I became more observant.  We  have grown closer to each other through our personal challenges.   We have taken on Hashem’s mitzvoth.  Most important of all, we are drawing closer to Hashem.

While davening at shul, for a split second, I actually felt awe and fear of Hashem’s judgment.  I am trying to internalize that whatever judgment Hashem has decreed for me is for my good.  It is hard because I am afraid what if it is the decree that I do not want.  I must activate my emunah, bitachon, and tikva (faith, trust, and hope).  Without these three attributes, all I have is darkness and sorrow.   My emunah tells me that Hashem is very much with me, and that this test will soon be over with positive results achieved; bitachon tells me that Hashem has my best interest in heart and that despite my deep pain, I do not have to despair, even though I feel that I am at the bottom of the deepest pit in total darkness; and tikva provides me the assurance that Hashem will answer my tefila and grant me the desires of my heart.

Right now I am feeling nothingness because I have not 100% internalized emunah, bitachon, and tikva.  Otherwise, I would be all smiles, and people at shul would flock to talk to me.   I seek Hashem’s forgiveness,  guidance, and help.   During Rosh Hashana not only did I acknowledge Hashem’s sovereignty and ask for  children, but also that I make His will mine, even if it meant that I might not get what I want.   That was very difficult.

Here we are at the beginning New Year.  In a few days, our decree will be sealed.  May we all have our heartfelt prayers answered.  May each and everyone of us who desires a child, be joyful and grateful mothers in 5771, grateful to Hashem for His miracles.  I ask Hashem’s help in not feeling jealousy or resentment toward the frum mothers who proudly push their strollers carrying their bundles of joy.  I feel so alone yet I must cling to Hashem for He is my rock and my salvation.  Shana tova.  G’mar chatima tova!

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The world's first Giga coaster, the 310 ft tal...
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Soon it will be Tisha B’Av.   I will be preparing our evening meal.  The 3 weeks have been very difficult.  I was joking with a friend yesterday that if someone comments on my long face, I will tell them “I am mourning because we do not have the third Beis HaMikdash.”  I am still on an emotional roller coaster but not nearly as intense.  I did have a moment where I wanted to burst into tears.  Our very good friends invited us to Shabbos dinner, and included in their guest list was a young couple with a year old baby.  My heart sank.  The wound is still raw from losing my 3 embryos. For the most part, I am staying strong.  Seeing the young couple was a painful reminder.  I tried to make the most of it by talking to others.   The rest of Shabbos however was enjoyable.  We invited our neighbors to Shabbos lunch.  That was enjoyable.  Then Sunday my husband and I went to look at a couple of houses for rent.  Today I made a new friend over the phone, someone who went through the same thing as myself.  It was so nice to speak with someone who truly understands the deep pain.  Hashem knows exactly what we need.  This fertility journey is excruciatingly painful.  Often it does not seem possible that I will get pregnant.  Still I hold out hope.  My new friend said that Hashem does not ignore our tefila.  Either the timing is not right, or Hashem has something better for us.  The time was not right hence I had no pregnancy.  G-D willing the next time the timing will be perfect, that I too will be transformed into a joyous mother of children.  I must go through this pain.  Slowly but surely layer by layer like an open wound it is healing.   I do wish I could go to a corner and sob.

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Wyspa Konwaliowa
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Shabbos is almost here, my peaceful island of sanity.  This is the Shabbos before Tisha B’Av, a time according to Chassidic thought where we should try to visualize the 3rd Beis Hamikdash. It is even better if we see the future Beis Hamikdash in our dreams.  This Shabbos will also be a great time to study anything about the Third Temple.  I feel a sense of peace with the approach of Shabbos despite the hectic last minute preparations.  This morning I spent an hour mixing the ingredients for challah and forming the dough.  Tried to focus on Hashem in the process as part of my concerted effort to bring in extra kiddusha (holiness) into my challah dough.  Once the challah finishes rising, I will then separate the challah and engage in davening (praying) for me, my husband, us to become pregnant, and for all Jewish women struggling through infertility.  My usual prayer.  What if I added a prayer  for mothers and fathers – for their children to give them lots of nachas, for the parents’ parnasas (livelihood), and for their children to grow up clinging to Hashem and His Torah with all their might.

I stare at my silver candlestick, shining so brightly because of the polish that I had administered earlier in the week.  Soon I will place my candles lovingly in each slot.  I look forward to candle lighting when the gates of Shamayim (Heaven) are open to our heartfelt tefiloth (prayers). Soon my prayers will join those of countless Jewish women in the same time zone as myself.  May our Shabbos light illuminate our homes from erev Shabbos to erev Shabbos just like Sarah imanu.

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