The Ship Was Leaving for Israel Next Day
Since I moved to Israel 18 years ago, I had to find space to put my stuff. Lots of stuff filled up our 8 room farmhouse and our two story barn, and our chicken coop-turned-storage shed. I actually used very little, but feared we might leave something important behind, like an entry in a notebook that was my only reference to an important event, with dates and details, and when I would finally have time to write my memoirs I would need it. The only problem was, scores of unmarked notebooks existed with no time to look through them, even if I hadn’t been trying to sell the farmhouse, barn, and chicken coop and move to Israel.
In the process of trying to sell the house, I bought yellow and lavender paint to cheer up the walls of one of our living rooms, but the paint only made it look dingier, so I slipped into the barn to see if I could find the notebook to stem a despondency attack. An hour later I had not found the notebook and the children screamed and punched each other, a sign it was time to cook supper.
The day arrived when I had to pack our container; the ship was leaving for Israel next day. I still had not found the notebook, so I asked my kids to toss all the notebooks into boxes. I packed five more boxes with holy books the dog had torn up, more holy books ruined from rain and heat, and a whole suitcase stuffed with fringed four-cornered garments missing strings or hopelessly tangled up. I’d meant to drive all this stuff to the Ellenville shul, and now it was too late. I would have to find a shul in Israel to dispose of it. I hesitated on a few dozen bags of used clothing that might contain something valuable, and had no time to look, so I tossed them in too.
At our first rented home in Hashmonaim, the boxes and bags sat in a corner, undisturbed.
When we ran out of money and moved to a poorer neighborhood down the hill, the boxes and bags landed upstairs in the attic.
When we ran out of credit, a West Bank sheriff arrived with a cattle truck to move us to his remote hilltop outpost. I thought, at last I’ll have time to look through the notebooks.
But the notebooks, holy books, fringes, and used clothing no longer existed—I found in the attic only crumbs and droppings, and understood that a poor hungry rodent had been guided by a wisdom much higher than mine.