Yesterday night, my daughter got back from Uman.
To cut a long story short, a month ago, my then 17 year old daughter told me she was going to Uman with a friend.
My heart dropped to my stomach.
You can’t go abroad now, it’s crazy! They are ‘PCR testing’ everyone everywhere, and it’s just so unstable. They could close the airport any day! It’s just not safe!
Of course, she ignored me.
But then I thought I’d won a temporary reprieve, because her passport was out of date, and the first appointment she could get to renew it was only in September.
Aha, thanks God! Now, she’s not going anywhere!
But as usual, I was wrong about that.
Two weeks’ ago, out of the blue, she announced that as soon as she turned 18, she was going go Uman.
You haven’t got a passport, you can’t.
I’m going to renew it at the airport, she told me.
You haven’t got enough money to pay for the ticket.
I’m going to find someone to lend it to me.
It’s dangerous, you can’t go anywhere now…. I pleaded.
Ima! You can’t spend your whole life living in fear! Do you know how many of my friends are in Uman right now, and you are the only retarded person that thinks it’s dangerous!
(I’m pretty sure I’m not, but I digress.)
For 2 days at the beginning of last week, I had a massive fight within myself, to support my daughter in her choice to go Uman.
Because she really couldn’t have done it without me.
I shlepped her around to get the PCR tests; I found her the flights; I took her to the airport and sat with her to renew her passport. My husband, bless him, paid for the ticket and a few other bits.
And the whole time, I was sitting there thinking about worse case scenarios, of what could happen in Uman.
One of those nights, I was tossing and turning in bed, when a small voice piped up and told me:
You just have to let this go. Totally.
You have to bitul all these fears, let it go, and just trust Hashem that whatever needs to happen – good or bad – it’s all for the ultimate best.
So I did.
And I trusted that even if my kid got stuck in Ukraine for weeks; even if something ‘bad’ happened, God forbid; even if it didn’t turn out OK – this was God’s plan, and my job was to take a deep breath and accept that I am not in control.
Dear reader, it nearly killed me.
In the end, she had a great time.
She found somewhere to stay.
She navigated all the Covid bureaucracy and PCR tests that still give me nightmares.
And yesterday night, she came back to Israel and brought a big dose of ‘Rabbenu light’ with her.
She tells me she thinks there are 25,000 Jews in Uman right now, and more are coming all the time.
She tells me people there are preparing for the biggest Rosh Hashana ever, as so many people are trying to make up for not being there last year.
She tells me some people are worrying about ‘the Freemasons’ trying to pull something off in Uman, the way they did in Meron – but not a lot.
She also told me that the Ukrainian PCR swabber at the airport in Kiev basically told her that all the tests ‘were going to come out negative’, so she had nothing to worry about….
There’s so much achdus in Uman, Ima, it was to good to be there and to just walk down the street, and to see how everyone is talking to each other and just trying to help each other. It really made me feel so happy to be a Jew. I wish it was more like that in Israel, too…
I dropped her at home at 4 in the morning, and decided to go to the Kotel.
I haven’t been there for a few weeks, because I got stressed out when all the masks and coronafascism roared back again in Israel.
There’s a big sign there now that says that because of ‘Tav Yarok’ regulations, you have to wear a mask (outside!!) and can only come in if you are vaccinated, if there are more than a 100 people there.
Even just seeing those signs upsets me tremendously, but at 4am, I figured no-one is really enforcing anything.
And they weren’t.
So I sat there, and just cried a bit.
I cried about how heavy all this stuff seems to be, especially in Israel, especially in Jerusalem.
And I cried about not being able to go to Uman at the moment. And all the mental ‘hassle’ and stress involved with doing even small things, like going to the garden centre.
And I just sat there feeling so small and mentally exhausted.
All year, I’ve been dealing with the ‘sewage in the pipes’ underneath Am Yisrael, and it’s really taken a toll.
I want to be able to see the good again, to focus on the positive, to go back to Azamra.
And at the same time, I feel I have this awful, heavy job to do, to keep lifting up stones and see what crawls out, ahead of geula and Moshiach really happening.
I’m feeling very conflicted, honestly.
There is no neat ending to this post.
I really hope and pray that nothing bad is going to happen to any good Jew, anywhere in the world, and especially the thousands of people going to Uman.
We so need the light of Rabbenu.
We so need the light of the Rav.
And I hope we get it, very soon.
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