An open letter to my boss:
Here we stand on the edge of a fantastic project, the shiny new Sasson Magazine, with writers and technical craftsmen beyond belief, gathered from the four corners of the earth.
So how can you suddenly leave your headquarters in Jerusalem? Should we follow you to London?
If the destination was Ben Ackerman’s Homeworld, or if G-d sent you to Queen Elizabeth with the message to let my people go to Israel, okay; but this is not the case.
What really freaks me out is that after you, yet another member of the magazine has announced that she is leaving next week.
Not only that; you don’t feel happy going to London, and this lady doesn’t feel happy either.
She also carried the boss's advice to new levels: She has adopted a dog. Wow! Is she happy about it?
So why do it?
Her answer is complicated; it always is for these things. It’s something like: because-she- didn’t-want-a-newly-married-couple-to-start-their-new-life-with-a-troublesome-dog-and someone-might-put-the-dog-to-sleep-and-so-on.
There was another problem. Because this lady is going to London [even though she’s not happy to], she needs someone to TAKE CARE OF THE DOG. So she asked her roommate [she doesn’t really like living with this person, but leave that for now].
Her roommate said no; the dog is not well behaved.
So now this lady, besides preparing for a trip to London [that she doesn’t want], must also find a trainer and a kennel for this dog she doesn’t want, because she had asked another lady to take care of this dog, and she tried to, and then fell a barrage of evil speech about the dog and her previous owners, who hadn’t trained the dog properly, and so on.
I should mention that this lady’s situation is oddly similar to the Girlfriend's I mentioned in the blog post “A good citizen”—the defender of the Tel Aviv Somalians who was invited to present her dissertation at Oxford University—and hasn’t been heard from since.
How are they similar? This lady-with-the-dog-she-doesn’t-want has written a scholarly book on a subject beyond my comprehension, and she too has been invited to present her findings at Oxford University.
Listen kids: About ten years ago I was living in an apartment here in the Negev, minding my own business, and suddenly got a message that my dear father in New Jersey got sick. Naturally the conversation shifted to another miserable subject: the whole family was signing up for cremations.
So right away I packed my bags and took the next flight out to New Jersey.
We all sat in the living room. I explained why cremations were bad, and nobody listened.
I returned to Israel, ran around with a miserable face, took another flight to New Jersey, offered to bring my father to Israel, and nothing happened.
I think it was Rabbi Lazer Brody who told me, just stay in Israel and pray; don’t go anywhere.
Sometime later, a Breslever buttonholed my son Aryeh Leib for a large donation and of course my son, who was broke at the time, flat out refused.
Come on, urged the Breslever. Ask me something impossible and I promise you’ll get it. Just give me the money.
Okay, said Aryeh. Get my mother’s father to Israel.
A short time later, Rav Amnon Yitzchak came to our town in the Negev. I decided to give out prayer cards for Rav Mordechai Eliyahu z”l and Jonathan Pollard; the Rav gave a blessing for him and all the sick people.
As soon as the Rav left the stage and the workers started wheeling away equipment, a family member called on my cell phone to come right now to New Jersey and bring my father to Israel.
I didn’t have to, though.
A few days later, my daughter and her husband brought my father o”h to my doorstep.
I’m just saying.
With love from your servant Alizah