Rabbi Stephen Baars used to tell the people on the plane who were told to prepare for a crash landing. Tears, prayers, writing notes to loved ones, making deals with G-d….! And then the plane lands safely.
They applaud, cry, kiss the tarmac, kiss the pilots, call their loved ones, elation, relief, spiritual high…
Why? Because nothing happened.
That is how I felt this week and how many of you perhaps often feel. Every time you get a Covid test back that is negative, or any medical test. I was overdue for a mammogram, finally navigated the Israeli system, and had one. They told me the results would be posted on my health portal online, but it was not there every day.
Finally, I called my doctor, who needed a code to access the records. I was able to call and get the code (again, not simple here) and gave it to him.
I saw he called later that day, but I had missed the call. I was finally able to reach him. Thank G-d, the results were negative. He said, “Give tzedakah and get tested again in two years.” (Love it here!)
I was so happy and relieved; although it was just a “routine” check, the build-up to the results played with my head. I messaged my husband, told him the good news, and gave tzedakah in thanks.
Joy and gratitude– because nothing happened.
Take a moment now…close your eyes and breathe…and fill your heart with gratitude for the countless blessings of your life, the incredible joy of knowing that on so many levels, nothing happened.
Because we all know that it could.
It dawned on me several times since we moved that perhaps they should be my dishes for Shabbat, but it was a huge decision because once chometz touches them, it’s over. You can never go back.
As some of you remember, last Shabbat was my father’s third yartzeit, and I decided in order to honor Shabbat and my father’s memory, I was going to bite the bullet and do it.
My husband was all in and began dragging out of crawl space boxes marked “Pesach Dishes.” I was still kind of on the fence until I saw the boxes. Written on the sides was “Joel’s,” as we had gone to a temporary house before moving to Israel that belonged to our friend, Joel.
Joel was my father’s name. It was a sign.
I cleared out a couple of shelves in a cabinet in the kitchen, and voila!
We set the table with the beautiful china and explained to our guests that this was the very first-time bread had ever touched these plates. After my husband made kiddish, I felt like leaning to the left and drinking the four cups!
We are taught to honor the Shabbat, and that means making it distinct and, yes, beautiful. From our clothes to our food, everything should be special. So l’kavod Shabbat Kodesh, in honor of the holy Shabbat, we now have the most beautiful table, laden with our ex-Pesach, now Shabbat china. Please come and enjoy them with us soon.