Sharing a thought on Shmirat HaLashon, guarding our tongues, as a series of posts that I call “Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness”
Thought inspired from remembering Miriam
We are commanded to remember the following verse as one of six daily remembrances: “Remember what Hashem your G-d, did to Miriam on the way, when you were leaving Egypt”. (Devarim 24:9) This verse reminds us that when on our journey in the Midbar (desert), there was an occasion that Miriam criticized her brother Moshe Rabeinu (Moses our teacher) to her brother Aharon HaCohen. The result was immediate punishment from Hashem in the form of Tzara’as over her whole body, indicating the extent to which Hashem dislikes evil speech.
Did you know about Mandela Day? It is interesting to have a day to commemorate Nelson Mandela. It does not fall on the day of his leaving this world for the day began when Mandela was still alive. Mandela day falls on his birthday, the 18th of July. The significance of this day lies in what Mandela strove to achieve.
There are a few powerful statements that Mandela made which are very inspiring. Here is one of them: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
Remembering Experiences Related to Mandela
I am not sure when I first heard of Nelson Mandela but I became aware of the world’s interest in him when I was in the UK after high school. I had gone into the South Africa House on Trafalgar Square in London for something and could not help but notice some students standing outside. When I came out again, I stopped to find out what their protest was about. They were campaigning to free Mandela!
I asked them if they knew who Mandela was and what they knew about South Africa. No, none of them had been to South Africa, none of them really knew much about Mandela either. They just knew that he was in prison and were staging a protest for his release. As to their knowledge of South Africa, one student described South Africa as having lions that roam around the streets.
I smiled and let them know that I had lived in South Africa for many years and although I had met some impressive people and I had seen lions in game parks, I had not seen any lions roaming down any of the streets.
Some compare Nelson Mandela to a lion. He had an incredible inner strength and a vision of a world with unity and where children are assisted to achieve and to contribute to the world. He had many positive messages that he left the world.
Our Preparation for Mandela Day
Why do I share these thoughts now, nearly two weeks before Mandela Day? Well, we are preparing a special article to share on Mandela Day. Typing this article filled me with inspiration. As a result I have requested more stories of this nature to be written as well. I am so looking forward to sharing more about the development of this and other books. They are of course written by one of my most inspiring teachers, none other than Rosemary Kahn.
So mark your calendars and visit this blog on Mandela Day. We have a wonderful story to share with you and we aim to add this to a collection of stories. There are plenty more where it came from, so stay tuned for a book in the making. The next in the collection of books written by Rosemary Kahn, one of my favourite authors.
This post combines some thoughts on helping one’s mother to be a happy mom, as well as helping YOU to be a happy mom. How do they combine?
Have you ever taken the time to find out what your mother’s goals and dreams are? Do you know if she has a bucket list and if so what is on that list? Many a time we set our own goals and help our children to identify what they need or want to achieve. But when one is an adult, it is easy to let life slip by and not ask one’s mother what her goals are.
How do YOU feel about becoming a mother? Have you ever stopped to give this question much attention? Let’s face it, most little girls play with dolls and pretend to be a mother. But, how many consider what becoming a mother is actually like?
There is much to do in preparing for Rosh HaShanah. One can of course prepare from the start of the new year until the following year, by setting suitable goals and working systematically towards them. Many have goals, others need help to develop them. What do you need in order to maximize your Rosh HaShanah preparations?
Some work on their goals all year round, others leave preparing for Rosh HaShanah until the month of Elul. Still others might not realise the full meaning of Rosh HaShanah and hence do not prepare or prepare very little.
The truth is, that there is much to prepare for. On the basic physical level, Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year is a day to spend both in prayer and enjoying delicious meals with one’s family and friends. Since we are not permitted to do work on Yom Tov there is preparation to be done. Rosh HaShanah is a two day festival. This year Shabbat follows immediately after Rosh HaShanah, that means we have 3 days to prepare for.
There is something very special about babies. Babies are cute, babies are funny, babies are precious, babies are our future. Do you remember your baby? At all times?
Sadly, more and more in recent years one hears of the tragic news of a baby forgotten. Forgotten in a hot car, a store, a bank or elsewhere. Babies are even left alone in the heat outdoors while the one who was with them goes visiting or doing some other task. Don’t risk this situation being your reality. It is crucial to remember one’s baby at all times.
Occupational Therapy is all about independence. Independence in all areas of our lives and this includes financial independence. The contents of this post deals with a topic that is important for anyone wishing to live their life to the full. That is finding the right path that will enable you to obtain independence.
In a previous post, I mentioned a book I have written about my personal and professional journey with a chronic illness. While writing the book, I wished to use certain quotes from other works. I have met some interesting people in applying for permission. One of them was the then director of the Chofetz Chaim Foundation. Writing this I wonder whether my desire to share about the importance of guarding one’s tongue has provided some blessing to unravelling a journey. Very possibly, in the meantime, join me to meet some incredible role models.
While some erroneously look down on the widow, helping widows is important enough to be mentioned in Tanach. This false belief was highlighted once again in a message sent to me in response to a campaign that I was running. The campaign is all about assisting a widow. I am sad that anyone would have such thoughts. So I decided to share a little more about my work assisting widows and orphans. Yes, widows do have very real needs.
Did you know that I am working on developing an OT centre? Well, one of the services of this centre focuses on empowering widows and orphans, according to their own unique needs.
Background to my work with widows and orphans
Actually, helping widows and orphans is not something new for me. It has been an interest of mine for very many years for a few reasons:
1) My grandmother was widowed when she was half way into her pregnancy with my late father, i.e. 4 1/2 months. As a child I did not really understand what a widow is. However, gradually, the needs of the widow became etched into who I am from a very young age.
2) As you can see above, my father was born without a father. I, in turn, was orphaned from my father when I was still at school.
3) My mother was widowed from her second husband during my first year of working as an OT.
These experiences sensitized me to the needs of widows and orphans. As a result, in recent years, they have become part of the services I am developing. Yes, real services. Let’s take a look at this a little further.
Some of the Services of my Centre
I am working on develop an OT centre. There has been a change to the services I offer. There are many factors that have contributed to this change and hence a change to my initial vision for a treatment centre. These service focus on assisting women in the role of wife and mother. Some of the women are blessed with being married, G-d willing for many healthy years. Others are widows. The widows have certain needs and those who are orphans have other needs. These needs have to be addressed. I am not the first to consider empowering widows and orphans. The need to assist widows and orphans is outlined in many places in Tanach. Here is just one example:
“כל אלמנה ויתום לא תענון”
All or every widow and orphan do not oppress (Exodus 22:21)
Creating the right environment and being able to meet the needs that I have identified requires funding. For quite a few years I tried developing a store based on the concept of the thrift store or op shop. As you can see in the video below, we collected up new, un-used items. Some of these items were given to orphans to begin their new home of orphans. The remaining items were sold in order to cover the expenses of setting this up.
Sadly, we had very poor support of our sales. One of the biggest problems was the extent to which buyers insisted on undercutting our prices. When we moved a little over a year ago, we lacked the funds to both move our store and to house our store. As a result we sent over 40 boxes of gifts to an orphanage in Jerusalem. The result was that at least 7-8 Kallot from the orphanage had a substantial start to their new home.
Another service we had been setting up is our bridal gown Gemach. Sadly, due to lack of funds, we are having to sell off and close this service too. However, we have not given up. We have merely changed to a different business structure.
Changes to our Services
Our new venture can be seen on our online store. As you can see from the start of our new store, instead of collecting unwanted items and selling them at low prices, we are working on making up a range of gifts and selling them at proper prices. Some of these gifts come from my own art and creativity. There will, however, be gifts made by widows and orphans in order to help to give them the start in becoming self-sufficient.
Learning from other Programs to help Widows
For those who still like to judge me, let us take a look at some wonderful work happening in the US by widows helping widows.
If you have watched the above video, you will come across a powerful statement:
“Grief is not taboo and it is not contagious” ~ Audrey Pellicano RN MS
I hope to share further important work happening to strengthen widows and orphans. Both of these are very important.
I hope that by reading a little about the work I am involved in, that those who like to judge the fact that I am currently assisting a specific widow will change their mind. Those who have suffered from the loss of a spouse or parent are not contagious. They have done nothing wrong and they are in deed in need of our help.
I have had quite a few questions about the goals of this website and the services that I offer. The truth is that there are a number of services that I offer and feature on this website and also quite a number of goals. There are a number of ideas and goals that inspired developing this website. In order to best describe the services, let us begin to look at the purpose of this website.
For the background of how I came to develop a service that focuses on assisting women in the role of wife and mother I am actually completing writing an ebook. If this is of interest to you, please be in touch. You can let me know in the comments at the bottom of this blog post and also via the contact form on this website.
What I can say for now, is that I have a number of goals here. Each of them are equally important. In order to reach these goals has required much thought from my life experience, my work experience and from learning from various sources. Oh dear, does that sound vague? Not to worry, it will all become clear.
Let us take one snippet of this as our starting point, for now. When I was a second year student I had an idea to begin a treatment centre. Now in order to begin a treatment centre one has to identify the types of services that would be offered and also if there is a specific niche or angle to the centre. It’s been quite a journey to identify that niche, which is the topic of the ebook that I spoke about.
A few months after having this idea, I began to develop severe abdominal pain. The doctors did not do enough testing, they just opted for an appendectomy. Years later it turned out that I had chronic, recurrent kidney infections but the dear doctor wipped out my appendix. Did a nice job of stirring around to try to find anything else he would manage to. Actually, I suspect another potential problem. Before we get to that, I must mention that I also had a reaction to the anesthetic which had lasting effects.
A year later I was diagnosed with one infection after another including CMV. Eventually the doctors had the wonderful news that I had ME which stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
So I had this dream of a treatment centre which meant completing my studies but I also had this chronic health problem that begged for attention. By the time I graduated, all my income went on paying off tuition, paying for health expenses, paying for regular daily expenses and then helping my mother who had become a widow.
The more I tried to do the regular normal things (like getting a regular 9-5 salaried job that would provide the income I needed to save and start to develop a private practice as the first step of my treatment centre) the more my health and my life threw me curve ball after curve ball.
The journey with my health is the topic of a book that is waiting to be edited just as soon as I earn enough to dedicate the time to edit it. Another book I have begun is my hard work in striving to become independent, working from home. So two topics that I aim to share information about through blog posts, YouTube videos, workshops and other services lie in developing a healthy, balanced lifestyle and also in how to become successful working from home.
Around the time I wrote my book about my health, I also wrote a book to promote occupational therapy. I shelved the book for many years. I had good reason to do so. Eventually though, I decided the time had come to get that book out. That book is of course “Healing Your Life Through Activity – An Occupational Therapists Story“. As I was busily editing this book and preparing it for publishing, I came across a some amazing websites. These websites have opened doors to an exciting new approach to working and to working from home.
In further posts I aim to:
-Introduce you to 5 or more people who have had a major impact on this change in direction.
-Begin offering some resources on this website both as a resource page and as blog posts or other products. As I add each new feature, I will be writing about it in my blog.
So do come back to read more posts and find out about this journey. My journey contains excitement, major challenges and more. Join me as I share about what I am doing or have done to help to overcome these challenges.
Visit the main page of my website and sign up for my newsletter. In the newsletter you will receive more information, tools, tips, discounts and other lovely goodies. While you are at it, please take a look at the main page. I would appreciate it if you let me know what you like and what is confusing you. I’m in the process of improving this page, so your feedback will be really helpful.
As you can see, I have had quite a journey which has culminated in some of the purpose of this website. I look forward to sharing more in further posts.