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Preview: Comments on My Shrapnel: What Luck?

Comments on My Shrapnel: What Luck?

Updated: 2018-01-08T01:07:51.388+02:00


I've never really though in terms of "why me?".And...


I've never really though in terms of "why me?".
And this was made clearer when I once had a conversation about this with a friend of mine who was going though a series of problem. She pointed out that if you look closely at peoples lives everyone has their problems and good points.
I usually think in terms of what is the best way I can get out of this situation, and what is the best I can do with what I have.
This probably comes from a background of not being supposed to show your disabilities lest someone may (g-d forbid) pity you. So we were taught to suck it up and pretend everything is honky dory. And it stuck with me.

This morning I arrived home from a short vacation ...


This morning I arrived home from a short vacation to the island of Ameland, I allway do intend to bring home something to remember.
This time it is an etching of a sea bass, to satisfy the curiosity

Yes, I am lucky to REALISE me to be able to do things which come up in my mind.

To measure one's luck we do need to communicate, so Gila how are things
going with your new hearing aid, they are/is comfortable and the hearing is without rumbling, numbling and pings?

Sarah wrote:"I don't have the cancer. Just the fer...


Sarah wrote:
"I don't have the cancer. Just the fertility problems are really nothing. But they're still my problems, they still hurt my heart."

Nobody's problems are "nothing."

Even the smallest problems can hurt our hearts -- and that pain is very real.

We all face our own challenges and deal with them the best we can.

It's good to have perspective. After all, things can always be worse.

But that doesn't mean that it's easy to deal with our challenges.

After all, that's why we call them "challenges."


May God answer your prayers and bless you with all your heart desires.

Gila,Most of us, as adults, (and many children)hav...



Most of us, as adults, (and many children)have encountered so much pain and suffering at one point or another. We all struggle to understand why things happen to us. For me personally, after my illness and then my daughter's, I think I would literally fall off the edge (and often I'm THIS close if I didn't repeat to myself, "This is G-d's Plan, His will, there is a reason for this". Most of the time that works...

There was a columnist for the Jewish week, I remember her face, but can't remember her name, who was diagnosed with a terrible form of cancer that she later succumbed to. While she was chronicling her disease, she wrote about the "why me?" issue. The answer she came up with was, "why not me?"

What a beautiful post.

" [I want the blessings I want but I receive only ...


" [I want the blessings I want but I receive only those of G-d's choosing. So am I blessed or am I not? There is no answer. ]"

when my daughter was born with Down Syndrome, someone gave us an article about a couple who planned a vacation in Italy, but wound up unexpectedly going to Holland ...

at the time, it didn't make sense,
but now, years afterwards, the vacation in "Holland" is more meaningful and special to us, than the "Italy" one would have been ...

is it "fair"?
i don't know,

have heard over and over all the stories and great qualities about "Special" children

some sounded nice,
but as you said before,
when the well-meaning visitors all go away,
the child stays with us, and we have to do what we can, day in and day out, for her and for us

that said,
there was one comment that stands out until today:

after a bout of frustration with the Board of Ed regarding schooling and transportation, my wife blurted out, "Did we 'deserve' this?!"

the person listening answered,
"G-D forbid to think that a couple is 'punished' by having a handicapped child!

my wife asked,
"So why did it happen?"

the person answered,

"The Soul of this child requested You.

You were the parents she wanted if she had to enter this world with her special needs."

i don't know where she got this from,
(if anyone knows a source in Chazal, or in the name of a Rebbe, please post, Thanks)

but i do know that the Path we are given, is one that is tailor-made for us, and all we can do, is try to make it the best Path it can be with what we are given.

i'm sure that what you have done with your Path is something you can be proud of,
and may G-D grant that it becomes clear and bright for you from now on, and in a way where you can see how it all 'fits' ...

Afterthought to my last post: Not that bliss in th...


Afterthought to my last post: Not that bliss in the world to come is supposed to make you feel better. It's just a reflection of Jewish values and personally, I really appreciate your humor. I hope it helps you too and not just the people around you. Batya

Gila, first of all, I love reading your blog. You’...


Gila, first of all, I love reading your blog. You’re so right on the mark with the falsehood of blithely saying “It’s all for the best.” What you’re saying is, I don’t want this and I don’t care if this is saving me from some other bad fate. This is also bad. And of course there’s no better judge than the person with experience. The truth is there are situations in life that we can’t do anything about. So when there’s nothing else to do, all we can do is choose an attitude towards our suffering that turns it into an achievement, to transform it into an inner triumph. We can say, I refuse to let this make me into a bitter, depressed person, even though it’s easy to see how it could. Viktor Frankl bitterly experienced this in the concentration camps and subsequently brought his message to all suffering human beings. In this sense Logotherapy, which Frankl created, is the most Jewish approach to therapy there is. It draws on people’s inner resources for achievement. According to Judaism, when tragedy strikes we’re supposed to say a blessing – “the true judge.” Believe it or not, in the sources the question is posed maybe we should say “the one who is good and bestows good” for a tragedy as well? The answer given is no, what we see as bad we don’t pretend is good. For all of our claims that “it’s all for the best” we don’t really know what we’re talking about and we certainly have no right to say that to anyone else. All we can do is to humbly acknowledge that there is something beyond us, that we cannot possibly understand with out human limitations. Life is not fair. There’s no way to smear that over. All we can do is turn it into a triumph. I can’t say how that can happen for you. But this I know. - You have a great sense of humor and are a fantastic writer, and with those inner resources you are triumphing in some small way. You’re making a lot of people laugh. The Talmud says you get bliss in the world to come for that.

Batya Yaniger

Zahava - this vort, which I love, fits beautifully...


Zahava - this vort, which I love, fits beautifully with something I try to live by: do not ask "Lamah" (why) but ask "L'mah" (for what).

Gila - thanks so much for sharing this. It really means a lot to me right now. I don't think I have to say more. I look forward to giving you a big hug next week. You are a wonderful friend!

FWIW, 17 years ago I had the strangest encounter w...


FWIW, 17 years ago I had the strangest encounter with a complete stranger that forever altered my perception of the word luck. I hope you will enjoy/appreciate the following as much as I did (and still do)!

Shortly after I became engaged, a friend and I were boarding a bus in Port Authority headed for a Shabbaton in the mountains (we were advisors). My friend was discussing the recent engagement in a rather animated fashion. When we got on the bus, there were no seats together, and I ended up sitting next to a middle aged man who could be best described as "aggressively disheveled" (read: torn lumber-jack clothes).

As the bus began pulling out, he turned to me and said he'd overheard my friend congratulate me on my engagement. As the "oh-oh" meter in my head started pinging heavily, he asked if he could extend a personal מזל טוב (mazal tov/congratulations) to me. I, of course, politely thanked him, thinking this would end the conversation.

I was shocked when he leaned forward in a conspiratorial fashion, and asked me, "Would you like to hear a 'vort' (explanation) on the real meaning of the word מזל (mazal/luck)?"

As I nodded in the affirmative, the man continued. "We Jews do not define the word "luck" in the same manner as the rest of the world, as we believe that nothing סתם (stam/"just") happens. So how do we define מזל? Simple! It isn't actually a word, but an abbreviation for מקום זמן לעשות(makom/place; z'man/time; l'asot/doing). In other words, for us Jews, luck is a matter of being in a particular place, at a particular time, and what we do with it."

Though the circumstances of the delivery are most certainly best described as "odd," (to say the least), I have always treasured this explanation and it has always felt like a gift. I hope you will too....

So very moving. I wish for you all the blessings ...


So very moving. I wish for you all the blessings you want for yourself...

great postYou're alive; keep fighting!!You never k...


great post
You're alive; keep fighting!!

You never know what's happening on the other side of the door.

I don't have the cancer. Just the fertility probl...


I don't have the cancer. Just the fertility problems. While everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant accidentally or easily.

And I try to remind myself that, in the grand scheme of things, my problems are really nothing. But they're still my problems, they still hurt my heart.

Thank you for this post today. I really needed it.

"What happened to me was for the best. I am a bett...


"What happened to me was for the best. I am a better person for what happened. If G-d were to come to me today with an offer to repeat this period of my life, but without the bombing, I would turn Him down."

I gotta tell ya', if God were to offer me a repeat of this period, without my cancer, I would definitely take him up on it!

I do not think that cancer has made me a better person.

However, I have faith; I believe that my cancer fits into God's plan in some way. It may not be the best for me, but God has His reasons.

I definitely don't count cancer as one of my blessings, but there are MANY other blessings that God has given me.

Like everything else, we choose our focus. Do we focus on what we lack or on what we have.

When I focus on what I have, it makes it easier to deal with everything else... most of the time.

What can I say, I still cry.

We can't always ignore our challenges. They exist.

Wow. Powerful post.


Wow. Powerful post.