#blogExodus 2: Bless

#blogExodus 5775 topicsA couple weekends ago, I was doing rather a lot of the opposite of blessing. My husband’s squadron had decided that it was sending a gaggle of instructors and students out of town in an effort to find better flying weather. The issue is that the decision was made on Friday that the trip would begin on Monday, which meant that there was no time during the workweek for my husband and his colleagues to make the necessary lodging and other logistical arrangements.

Our weekend was interrupted over and over again by the buzzing of my husband’s cell phone as everyone tried to bring the plans together by text message. Each new message took me further along the path from “mildly annoyed” to “irked” to “cursing the OPSO, the squadron, and the Navy with remarkable relish and far-ranging creativity.” By Sunday night, I was irritated with my husband for having the gall not to join me in my excoriation of his superiors and minute, trenchant analysis of their shortcomings both personal and professional.

“You know,” I finally grated at him, “sometimes I just want to hear that you think the situation sucks, too.”

He continued folding laundry for a few beats before speaking. “I’m not thrilled about how this is playing out, either, but there is a limit to how much I can let myself think that it sucks and still be able to do my job.”

In that moment, understanding broke through my annoyance, and I was ashamed. What I had been telling myself was companionable commiseration over a crappy set of circumstances was being received as a shove off balance. I had, in turn, misinterpreted my husband’s need to maintain an even keel as a frustrating lack of acknowledgement of my efforts to vent “with” him, never mind that he never expressed a desire to vent in the first place.

Now I have an understanding that I didn’t have before, thus proving that there is still more to learn even after almost a decade of having a significant other on active duty in the Navy. Next time we run into one of these not-uncommon military inconveniences, I’ll know better, and that insight will feel like a blessing.

Baruch atah, Adonai, chonein hadaat. Blessed are You, Adonai, who graces us with knowledge.


#blogExodus, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the weeks leading up to Passover through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.

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#blogExodus 1: Begin

#blogExodus 5775 topicsJewish days begin at sundown, and this evening is rather special in that we welcome not only Shabbat, as we do each Friday evening as the sun sinks below the horizon, but also the Jewish month of Nisan.

The vernal equinox and the first day of of Nisan happen to kiss this year. Thanks to this fitting quirk of the juxtaposition of our secular solar and religious lunisolar calendars, the first day of spring marks just two weeks until Chag haAviv, which means “the spring holiday” in Hebrew. It has a lot of names, this holiday, the spring holiday, but in English we call it Passover.

Today marks the conjunction of a profusion of beginnings. New season. New month. New year, on top of it all (there are four new years on the Jewish calendar). We brim with beginnings; we love them so much that we strew them like flower petals throughout our days. For a Jew, a calendrical fresh start is never far out of reach.

Naturally, I would like to get season, month, and year off on the right foot, and simple wishes seem most appropriate to me. Chodesh tov! A good month to you. Shabbat shalom! A peaceful Sabbath to us all.


#blogExodus, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the weeks leading up to Passover through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.