I am a firm believer in nissim (miracles). I have lived them and seen them and do try to convince others to believe in them as well. In the past five days my beloved Mordechai and I became the great grandparents of three additional baby girls. This gift was given to us by our granddaughter Shira Hagler Schanzer and her husband, Doni, as they presented us with Ita on Thursday, and on Shabbat our granddaughter Esther Eisenberg Axelrod and her husband, Dovid, introduced us to Rena and Tehilla, twin baby girls. No one in either family has twins. The simcha and the hakarot hatov which I feel to Hashem for giving us this zechut is overwhelming. Everyone knows that nothing ever should be taken for granted and having a child certainly can come with difficulties during a single birth, but the concern that I had together with my daughter Malkie over the worry of giving birth to twins could have been paralyzing if we allowed it to be. Instead we chose to believe in whatever Hashem had in mind for us, and on Shabbat very easily two little girls made their appearance without a care in the world (it should only continue).
The births came at a time when lately I found myself contemplating the words of Ashet Chayil and the way that most homes sing it every Friday night prior to kiddush. I have observed many men in many different environments singing it and have often pondered why most of them do not look at their wives while singing the well known rendition. “Sheker hachen, Vehevel hayofi, Isha yirat Hashem, He tit’halal.” “Her children rise and celebrate her, and her husband he praises her: Many daughters have attained valor but you have surpassed them all.” Usually the man’s head is either focused on his plate or something he spotted on the ceiling. How many have discussed with their children why it is important to chant this with extra gusto? If it is done for the sake of tradition without any explanation of it, why not skip it? I am confused. In a way it would make me feel better if the entire table looked at the woman of the family prior to singing it so that they could realize why these verses from Tehillim are so important. I loved when my husband’s eyes would lock with mine as he chanted various parts of it. It would be our private moment often amidst a crowd of people. It would be one of our warm and fuzzy moments.
I very much hope and pray that both of our amazing grandsons, who recently became fathers, one for the first time and the other for the second time, will continue to show their wives the same adoration which they feel for them now. I see it in their eyes and in their concern in helping, both prior to the babies being born and now in their roles as the father of newborns. As they sing each Shabbat evening I want them to look lovingly and adoringly at their wives even after many years have gone by. If anything, with a good deal of work and much understanding the feelings should be that much more deep as each year passes..
Mazel Tov to the Haglers, Schanzers, Eisenbergs and Axelrods for producing such beautiful children who in turn are now introducing a new generation of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Continued nachat.
Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected]