Nothing to Worry About| February 15, 2017
People of faith are not supposed to worry. But intelligent people know for a fact that there’s indeed much to worry about. Very few things in life take care of themselves; if no one is worrying about them the results are likely to be catastrophic. Imagine moving to a new house marrying off a child preparing a speech or even making a birthday party for a five-year-old without worrying about all the details!
Worry is the precursor to Action. If no one worried about them meals laundry dentist appointments tests and other vital functions would lie in wait subject to the vagaries of the elements. Locked away in some corner of the mind they’d eventually disintegrate decay or be forgotten and the work of the universe would grind to a halt. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.
Yet kids seem to think that parental worrying is not only unnecessary but some sort of congenital disease. They’re sure that whatever they want done will simply get done. Somehow. By Someone. And not sometime in the future but quickly like Now.
When asked how things happen without Worry and Work Israeli kids answer with that maddening three-letter Hebrew word: kachah. (I don’t even know how to translate it.) When you attempt to explain that only G-d could say “Yehi Or — let there be light ” and then there was light but we measly humans have to get up and do something — turn on the light change a battery or bulb buy a new one — they balk. If it must be done by human hands it will get done by someone else’s not their own.
But I refuse to be browbeaten. I know my worrying is purposeful. I know if that kid goes out without a coat he’ll be sick in 24 hours and miss two days of school. I know all the bread will be finished by supper and if no one goes to the store there will be no sandwiches tomorrow morning. I know you need more than half an hour to get to the airport. I know tomorrow is too late to order flowers for the bas mitzvah party. I know these things. The knowledge is in my blood my bones my genes. So I worry about them.
My mother a”h was an expert worrier. We sometimes laughed and called her Cassandra the ancient Greek prophetess of doom. “Laugh all you like” she said. “Just remember Cassandra was always right!” When we didn’t listen to her we were always sorry.
One of my kids now a grandfather himself once asked me “When will you stop worrying about me?” I pulled myself up to my full height and informed him that worrying is my parental right. It comes with childbirth. I’d stop when I got to Olam Haba. Then on second thought I changed my mind. “No ” I said “I’ll probably continue worrying about you in Olam Haba as well. Didn’t you ever hear of a meilitz yosher?”
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