Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Oh, I'm Not Locked in My Car?

Okay, I thought that lately this blog has been a little tooo serious, and it's getting me down. I want to write something on a lighter, happier note. So here's a story...that apparently is light and funny, since when I told my mother, she could not stop laughing and sputtered, "And you want to be a hot-shot lawyer!?" Thanks, mommy!

Once upon a time, not so long ago, but long enough ago that I will pretend that my anonymity will remain preserved, I got into my car and the alarm went off. My friend who was with me at the time -I'll call her Nava- shrieked "You pressed the panic button, turn it off", to which I shrieked back, "I don't have a panic button!" (We were shrieking not out of fear or anger, but rather because the alarm was sooooooooooo soooooooooo ear-splitting loud.) We tried unlocking the doors, locking the doors, turning on the engine, turning it off, turning on the lights, turning them off, opening the doors, closing them. No one came running to help -no surprise, it was that loud. But finally a mexican/spanish guy came over to help. So what'd he do? He disconnected the battery under the hood. Okay, the alarm went off, but now how do I get home?

Nava called another friend -Lila-, and told her to drive to the parking lot we were in. (the office max/grocery store/seedy Laundromat parking lot) She came by, and then Nava got in her car, so they could get the clicker from my apartment. I figuratively grasped Lila by her lapels and said, "You are not leaving me here alone with a disconnected battery car and a mexican and a Laundromat." So she stayed, and Nava hurried to get the clicker. Meanwhile the guy showed me how to open the hood of the car (no, I didn't know how to open it) and how to reconnect the battery. Then he left. Oh, by the way, he didn't speak fluent English. Just a side note. So when Nava returned triumphantly with the clicker, we positioned ourselves before the engine. Nava held the clicker and Lila's ears shut. Lila clasped her hands over my ears, and on 1,2,3 I reconnected the battery and quickly quickly Nava turned off the alarm using the magic clicker. End of first story.

By the way, this wasn't the story that made my mother laugh. No, no, please be patient.

The next morning, on my way to school, everything was fine. I had the clicker with me, and I was about to give one of my classes a nice little evil test. I spent some time trying to find a parking space, squeezed into a good one, and turned off the engine. Suddenly, it was very quiet. All of the digital displays went out, and I couldn't restart the engine. Hm, I thought, that's weird. The battery probably somehow got disconnected. I unlocked the doors to get out, and nothing happened. Huh?- oh the battery...I pressed unlock on the magic clicker. Didn't work. So the clicker isn't magic after all. I began to panic. I was locked inside my car! All the windows were up, and I couldn't unlock the doors!! I quickly called Nava, but couldn't reach her. I called the school I teach in, and the secretary gave me the number of chaveirim. I called them, and 15 minutes of waiting nervously in a stuff car later, one guy came and walked to my car with all his unlocking equipment. I gave him my unfortunately helpless face, and he was about to stick the wire into the car window when he asked if I tried lifting the lock.

With dawning humiliation, I tried lifting the lock thing out of the door. Click! I was out. He gave me suuuuch a look! And as soon as I got out, the other chaver pulled out. I then quickly distracted them by saying, "Ohhh, the battery's dead!!! I think it got disconnected. Well, after my little, oh, faux pas with the lock, they totally ignored me and started discussing jumper cables. And then chaver #1 opened up the hood of the car and they saw, lo and behold, the battery was disconnected. So they reconnected it and said I should probably see a mechanic to get it tightened so it doesn't happen again. I thanked them so very much and ran, literally ran to school.

I've been told more than once that I'd make a really great blonde. Well, it's true. To make me feel better, please share your ditzy/I forgot my head at home/oops/duh stories in the comments section! Have a great day!

Monday, March 06, 2006

You are Never as Far as I Feel You Are

This past shabbos, for the first shabbos in many a shabbos, I learned a little Torah. A friend and I went over the beginning of a Nesivos Shalom on Purim, in preparation of the imminent chag. We learned something very interesting, that I've been thinking of ever since.

True bitachon, trust in Hashem, is the knowledge that not only does everything happen for a reason, and not only does it all occur for a reason of goodness, but also that it all happens from Hashem, our Father, Who is so close to us, always so close to us. Hashem is constantly near to us, guiding us, aiding us, even when we sin. Even when we turn from Him, He is before us. Even when we fall, He catches us. And so a person with true bitachon never worries, never fears -baruch hagever asher yivtach baHashem, v'haya Hashem mivtacho.

This is not a dvar Torah. If you wish to understand the Nesivos Shalom, I think you must examine it for yourself. I am not in my teaching mode right now. It is past midnight, and I had a rather bad day. Much time was wasted, my nails are bitten down to the quick, I broke my diet-again-and I fear another layer of rock-hard shielding has settled over the softness of my heart. Why?

Lately I have been having revelations. About my family, about the nature of influence and change, about the status of my soul and about the possible future. A pall of darkness contests the usual sunlight of my existence, but I do not know why. I am sad, and that scares me. I feel so much pressure, but I know not what it is asking me to accomplish. So much love and life fills me that I feel as if I am suffocating. I know not why. In a week's time I will be going to Eretz Yisrael. Can the kindness of Hashem ever be clearer to see? There my neshama will remember the last two years of my life, the peace I have found, the person I know I wish to be. The earth of Israel under my shoes will shake my mind into living again. Living in America. Living, improving. I hope.

So my point: Panic is so quick to grasp our hearts and terrorize our peace -but if we realize that Hashem is so, so, so close to can we fear anything?

One caveat: Yes, it is true that Hashem is so, truly so close, we need only turn to Him, to our Father in Shamayim...but if we feel distant from Him, and we feel as if, no, He is really so far from us -then He will be distant, and it will be difficult. So no matter how far away from G-dliness you or I feel, just realize this. Hashem loves you. He loves me. And takes care of me. And sustains me. Even at this very moment, as I sit here before my computer, and I know that my soul is seeped in many sins, some of which leave deep cesspools of stains, He is commanding my heart to beat. He is willing me alive.

And one emotion now rises above the others, casting aside the shadows and the palls of despair and panic: joy and thanks.

Thank You, Hashem. For being so close.