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More Precious than a Kodak Moment

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

There are so many wonderful moments in life…..

Two very sweet young men in our congregation saved some of their chapter books until they felt that our son Beernut was old enough to appreciate them. When I recently presented them to Beernut, his eyes widened. “That was really nice of them,” he murmured. “Yes,” I agreed. And that was that. Or so I thought.

About twenty-four hours passed when Beernut burst into my room. “I finished the book!” he exclaimed. “What book?” “You know, one of the books that my friends gave to me. I read one chapter last night and then I woke up early and finished the rest of it.”

Sweet music to the ears of this voracious reader. My son. My little son. Waking up early just to discover what lies between the covers of a current read. I can so relate!

But this was special for it was the first chapter book that Beernut had read on his own.

“Hey B,” I gently asked, “You know what this calls for?” A slow grin stretched from ear to ear. “A prayer. Right, Mom?”

Yes. A prayer. A prayer to turn this secular, seemingly ordinary moment into something special. Something holy. Something wonderful.

Life is fraught with difficulties and frustrations. It is too easy to perceive experiences as negative and dissatisfying. This approach, in turn, leaves us feeling pessimistic. Disillusioned. Perhaps even regretful.

How radically different our outlook might be if we were to regard life’s experiences as sacred opportunities. To complete a book for the first time should give a child a real sense of accomplishment. And to mark the occasion in a uniquely Jewish way sends a strong message that one’s growth is a wonderful thing. As a parent, making a blessing over the milestone of one’s child helps acknowledge the ongoing development for which we are grateful.

Baruch Ata Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam shehecheyanu v’ki-y’manu v’higi-anu laz’man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the Universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this moment.

And Beernut said, “Amen.”

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