From a Mother’s Heart| August 31, 2016
The new zeman begins tonight. Your brown suitcase is zipped shut and you’re about to leave off to a long winter zeman. Abba is on his way back from the Kosel and he’ll be back any moment to accompany you; I’m using this time to scribble something a short note.
Maybe Tatty didn’t tell you but this morning after davening he asked me for a hundred shekel. “I’m going down to the seforim store to buy Shloimy a new Gemara Kesubos ” he said. When he told me this his eyes glowed and his voice was laced with the most sincere warmest Yiddish emotion the emotion all of Klal Yisrael has felt since Har Sinai: a father buying a Gemara for his son. As he paid the cashier and slid the Gemara into the bag Tatty murmured a quiet tefillah: May Shloimy’s cheishek be in Kesubos with its various sugyos and subjects.
With the change Tatty went into the stationery store and bought you a dark blue spiral notebook. He told me that he’s going to write a few words on the first page just the way his father Zeide did for him before his first zeman in Kfar Chassidim.
Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and gave it to Yehoshua. Zeide gave it to Tatty and Tatty to Shloimy.
When Tatty returned with the bag (Shloimy won’t the massive Gemara be heavy for you?) he made some type of excuse to skip breakfast and went to prepare the shiur he will be giving at the yeshivah on Wednesday. When he returned after Minchah and said he wasn’t hungry for lunch and instead wanted to go to the Kosel for a few minutes — then I realized.
Shloimy dear Tatty’s fasting today.
It’s not the first time I’ve “caught” him doing this but it’s the first time I’m telling someone.
Tatty’s fasting today because he senses this is a major day for you Shloimy and for all of us. For Tatty this day when his only son brother to six sisters enters the world of yeshivah gedolah and carries for the first time the heaviest and most awesome of burdens — the responsibility to build his personality and Torah outlook — is worth a day of fasting and emotional tefillah at the Kosel. Tatty is making a great sacrifice on this day for your success Shloimy because if not for you and your Kesubos what do he and I have to live for? Tatty is now storming the Gates of Heaven at the Kosel with the tefillah that Shlomo ben Chana Golda should grow in Torah as has been our aspiration since the day you were born. Tatty is worried about your — and our — destiny and he is davening that b’ezras Hashem you should channel your many talents to one goal: another daf of Gemara another siman in the Ketzos Hachoshen and another chaburah in your dark blue spiral notebook.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I clearly see your apprehension and excitement about the beginning of the Elul zeman. A mother’s heart does not miss such things even if you have been trying to smile more than usual these past few days.
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