Monday, January 5, 2015

05.01.15 - "And he lived" - VaYechi

As I sit here trying to write my Jewish studies class for tomorrow I'm finding myself overwhelmed.

This week's Torah portion, VaYechi, is the end of the Book of Genesis, and describes in detail the moments before Jacob's death; how he blessed Joseph's sons, the younger receiving the blessing instead of the elder; the way he prophesied the future for each of his twelve sons; the way he insisted on returning home.

It all means so, so much in my world.

January, now, is such an incredible time for me. The month begins with celebrating the birth of my daughter. Tomorrow night, my husband will light a memorial candle for his mother Judy, of blessed memory, who passed away six years ago. Just a few days later, on the tenth, I will light a memorial candle for my father, Al, of blessed memory, who passed away four years ago.

When Judy passed away, it was just a few months after we had moved to Israel. We flew back to Australia and were there almost as long as we had been in Israel. When dad passed away I was five months pregnant with my son, in Tel Aviv, and flew back to Melbourne that very night.

Sons. Blessings. Returning home.
Endings making way for new beginnings.

The world is most certainly a different place than I ever could have imagined it even a year ago. "Home" now has several meanings. So much has changed. So much can never change again.

With every change, with every hurdle we overcome and milestone we achieve, we shape and mould and recreate. We sew together memories with present events to create a patchwork quilt of our current reality, our lives and their meaning. We remind our children of whose names they bear and why, what their legacy to impart on the world was, their influence, their essence. We raise a glass to who they were, and we bless and drink to the future of what our children will be.

That 3000 year old book gets me, every single time.