June 25, 2024
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June 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Why do so many of us never seem to listen when given advice? Often, someone makes a suggestion and we only half listen and then do our own thing.

Today we realized once again how foolish we are when we do not listen carefully to what we are being told. This applies especially when the person offering these pearls of wisdom is about to turn 94. We are honored to consider as part of our family Bubbie Mina Katz. Actually it would make more sense to say that she includes us in her family. Exactly 53 years ago this week Mrs. Katz made us Sheva Brachot in her home in Brookline, Massachusetts. She reminded us that she invited some of Mordechai’s teachers from Maimonides to attend. We have to take her word for it as her memory sometimes seems much better than ours. Mordechai and the Teaneck-renowned Simcha Katz have been childhood friends since their days of growing up in Boston.. Whenever we visit with Mrs. Katz at the Fountainview in Monsey she always reminds us of the “boychickel” who would ride over to their house on his bike. She then proceeds to say at each visit, “He was gorgeous then and he still is.” No wonder we keep coming back to see her.

Today, however, she spoke to us so earnestly and heartfully about making the very best of each moment that it touched our souls. “Children,” she said, “do everything that you want to do if you can, now.” She proudly told us of the seven times she was in Israel volunteering on an army base and how she wore an Army uniform. She felt such pride.

When Nina asked her if there was something that we could do for her, her response was, “Take me to Brookline.” When we asked her if she was serious she said, “No, because there is nothing there for me anymore.” Then she said, “Take me to Yerushalayim.” Again, she said that she can no longer take trips like that anymore. Quoting her, she would have to take her “Cadillac,” which is translated as her walker, and many other things. “It would just be too difficult.”

Amazingly we did not feel as though there was any regret in her voice. She knew where she was and said many times that when you reach almost 94 you have to be grateful for where and how you are. We looked at her with so much love and admiration. Again, she reiterated how important it is to do little things to please each other as much as you can each day. She suggested the opera, or a show, and we just listened and admired her more with each word. Repeatedly she praised her children and grandchildren and how good they are to her. Bitterness is a sentiment that would never enter her life. Of course, she wishes that she had had more time with her late husband, yet with determination she carried on with her life and her business for as long as she was able.

We have visited with Bubbie Mina many times, yet today was special because it felt as though she was speaking to our souls. The changes we have made in our life have not been easy and we certainly have done our share of complaining. Yet spending time with her pushed us even more toward the idea that life gives us only one chance around and if we don’t take advantage of it as it happens there will be no making up for lost time. Not only does her face shine with radiance, but her words speak directly to our hearts. All of us should learn a lesson from this. Stop wishing and start accepting and living each day to the absolute fullest. Thank you, dearest Bubbie Mina.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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