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Best Intentions

As told to Yiska Kahan

I did it all for the wrong reasons. I’m telling you this now; back then I didn’t admit it to anyone, not to the neighbor who got me involved, not to my husband, not even to myself. I did it because of the peer pressure. Because we were all standing in the hallway and Shoshana Weiss had caught me off guard. I did it because everyone else was so forthcoming and so loud in their excuses that I had to say something. Saying that I wasn’t interested, or that I hate cooking, just wouldn’t fly.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The other women bowed out. “I’m making a bar mitzvah; I can’t take on anything new now.”

“My baby is so colicky, really I can barely stand on my two feet,” and my neighbor raised her Croc-clad legs in protest.

And that left me to catch the challenge that was hanging in the air, before it fell to the floor, shattering and breaking all expectations.

“I’ll do it.” I thought it was but a whisper, but Shoshana noted my outward palms, agreeing to accept whatever burden she would offer.

It shouldn’t have been a big deal. Cooking Shabbos food for patients in the hospital was not the most demanding chore. My job teaching third-grade English is low key, my baby was nine months old already, only waking up once in middle of the night. Of course I had time for chesed, who doesn’t?

 

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