May 18, 2024
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May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We dream of spring and summer as we plod through inches of snow. We curse the roads department as we slip and slide through neighborhood streets. Boots, mittens and scarves are everywhere, and no one knows better than us that dressing little children in snowsuits takes forever. Most disturbing is, as we remember, finally zipping the last one up when another declares that he needs to go to the bathroom. So many years ago this scenario would rile us up and we would have to remind each other how much we wanted each and every one of our children.

And then, lo and behold, summer arrives, the days are extremely hot and many are complaining of the mess their children are making as they run into the house with their muddy feet and wet bathing suits after spending several hours under the sprinkler and/or in the pool. Adults who spend hours commuting are now faced with crowded, hot trains and buses, and even those who drive find the walk through city streets tortuous.

On a “perfect” day, declarations are heard all around about how the slight breeze, more reasonable heat index and falling humidity are exactly what we need. Imagine how perfect life would be if we could have things exactly as we see fit.

Yet obviously that is not what was meant to be.

Our philosophy in life is to try to make the climate as perfect as possible even when it is noticeably unpleasant. This way of life does not apply solely to the weather. It seeps into every waking moment of our daily lives. There we are on vacation at the “Jersey Shore,” two days away from our daily routine. Nina is anxious for the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the ocean to enhance her day. Alas, the happy couple awakens to a day of pouring rain. Two whole days and the first is torrential storms. One of us wants to put the cover over her head and not get out of bed, and the other is declaring how beautiful the scene is, us, alone on vacation, noting the hand of Hashem as the rain takes over the entire day’s plans.

Granted, one has to strive to be on this madreiga (level) in order to have this attitude. Just think about a similar scenario. A couple is driving to a wedding all dressed in their finest. Driving on the Garden State Parkway, they suddenly have a flat tire and need to pull over to the side of the road. One of us would say gam zu l’tova and call AAA, and the other would keep repeating how late we are going to be for the wedding and asking why this event had to happen. The next comment might be that they should have left earlier, or even a comment regarding the last time the air had been checked in their tires.

In situations over which we have absolutely no control we can choose our attitudes and responses. With regard to the weather we obviously have zero control. Should we constantly complain or should we appreciate the beauty of the snow and then the warmth of the sun on a hot day? Should we plan to be happy on vacations only when the weather is in our favor, or should we be so thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time together wherever we are with total disregard for the climatic changes? Should we find some reason to blame an unforeseen delay in our plans on anything but the fact that “things do happen”?

After years of togetherness we have only one conclusion. What’s the point of complaining? Most things are out of our control. We are alive, together, and living in a beautiful world, rain or shine. Thank you, Hashem.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick


 Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

 

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