Showing posts from September, 2020

Accepting the Unacceptable

Yom Kippur is known as the "Day of Unconditional Acceptance," when G-d forgives & accepts us, but what do that actually mean?  Aren't there limits to how much we (or G-d) can accept?  Everything has limits, including acceptance! Every once in a while, we read stories about someone who was in the dumps, and was uplifted by a teacher, friend, boss or "angel".  Many times, these are people who have failed, ended up in prison, or made other serious mistakes in life.  They recall being ignored because of their past failures, until some special person saw in them what no one else saw.  "It was that  belief in me  and  unconditional acceptance  that gave me the strength to achieve" is what they'll recall.   Indeed, the nonbelievers had good reason to not believe and reject.  This person was a failure!  Judging by their actions, this person was "undeserving" of attention, a second chance, or a helping hand.   This doesn't even have to be

Pool Safety Lessons

  It's very easy to judge the parents of a child who drowned, and assume that they were negligent or taking safety lightly.  It's not true.  Drowning is the #1 cause of death for children under four, and the #2 cause for children under 14.  Levi drowned 5' away from me.  I wasn't on my phone.  I was merely talking to another adult, while facing the pool.  We were at a friend's pool with six children there together.  I was in the pool most of the time, and got out for 5 minutes, standing at the gate supervising, while talking to the host (who also had a child in the pool).  Levi left the pool area, and came back a few minutes later riding a trike.  While I was thinking to myself that it wasn't a good idea, for some reason I decided not to make an issue out of it.  A couple minutes later, Moussia was about to jump in, and screamed, "Tatty!  Levi's at the bottom of the pool!"  Why didn't I see him fall?  Why didn't I hear the splash?  The answ


  Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm an expressive person.  I honestly communicate what's on my mind & heart, and I'm willing to be vulnerable.  It's my greatest asset, but it's also my greatest liability.  It's an asset because I'm relatable and human.  I don't feel the need to be perfect in everyone's eyes and I'm willing to share a struggle, which people appreciate.  At the same time, being expressive has its risks.  When you're on the ball and in touch, expressiveness is refreshing and real.  However, expressiveness without sensitivity is dangerous & causes hurt.  The key to life is sensitivity. Sensitivity is the key to marriage, raising children, developing a relationship with G-d, and even pool safety as I will write about later.  And I struggle with sensitivity.  In the past five years at Chabad of Temecula, we've done a lot of good.  I try to do the right thing and don't eat myself up over the small mistakes that we

We Just Experienced a Miracle

  Our family just experienced a miracle of a lifetime.  G-d transformed a brush with death into a day of celebration and thanksgiving.  It took me a few days to put my thoughts together into a coherent letter.  I even contemplated not saying anything, because it's so easy for people to judge etc.  In the end; however, we decided to share this story because (1) It may save another life someday and (2) It would be selfish to keep a miracle of this magnitude to ourselves.  To make the story short, this past Thursday I pulled our three year old Levi (who just had an upshernish) from the bottom of a pool.  He was likely there for minutes.  He had the appearance of a limp, dead body, and had no vitals (no pulse, heartbeat, or breath).  While I have no CPR training and have never seen it done before, I placed his lifeless body on the pavement and started alternating between breathing into his mouth and compressing his stomach and chest.  Miraculously, after 30 seconds, he expelled about a