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Chances of a Lifetime

She told me she wanted to die.

Standing at the curb, all it would take was one step into the flow of cars a few feet away. Just one foot off the curb,…..then…. SMASH. The sound of twisting metal and bursting glass snapped her out of her trance.

She stared at the car that had just collided with a pole and thought, ‘That could have been me. Just a few seconds before, that could have been me.’

‘So that’s when you decided not to go through with it,’ I asked.

‘Yes,’ she replied. ‘I thought that if there’s no purpose to my life, G-d will dispose of me when He wants to. He doesn’t need my help. ’

It was 11:15pm on a Thursday night, the aroma of cooling challahs wafting all the way into my recliner in the downstairs den. I mentioned the miracle of being alive, that simply listening to her own breath for just a few moments could put her in touch with a sense of a higher purpose. This would intensify her ‘aliveness’ and, by definition, indicate that G-d still needs her presence in this world. It’s a life’s work to figure it out. But we don’t have to go through it alone.

There’s a place we humans can find ourselves in, moments of despondence that leave us empty inside. Yet outside we see a cycle, the sun rising and setting, flowers opening and closing, then opening again; nature’s underlying rhythm serving as G-d’s reminder that every moment holds within it the chance for a new beginning.

If you’re reading this post on the day it goes live (Wednesday, January 25, 2012), then you’re immersed in an opportunity you may not have known existed. Today is Rosh Chodesh, the start of a new month (Shvat) on the Jewish calendar that commemorates the lunar cycle, bringing with it the opportunity for new beginnings and even forgiveness.

On the last Sabbath of the month, preceding the new one, we say a special prayer that directs the thoughts of our hearts to usher in new opportunities. This translation is from Birchas Hachodesh, the Blessing of the New Month:

“May it be Your will, L-rd, our G-d and G-d of our fathers, that you begin for us this month for good and for blessing. May You give to us long life, a life of peace, a life of goodness, a life of blessing, a life of sustenance, a life of physical health, a life in which there is fear of heaven and fear of sin, a life in which there is no shame or humiliation; a life of wealth and honor, a life in which we love Torah and fear G-d; a life in which the L-rd fulfills our requests of our hearts for the good. Amen. Selah.”

The moon renewing itself brings the inherent opportunity to redirect our life’s goals. And if we’re not where we need to be, we are reminded that G-d will help us get there.

What’s more, this month on the 15th of Shvat, we celebrate the New Year for trees, and the delicate growth process that begins at that time. Outside it is cold, trees are barren, it seems as though nature has reached its end. Yet deep within the trees, the tiniest flow of sap begins to occur, the catalyst for leaves and fruits, nature’s bounty.

Here at Lev LaLev, we are surrounding by almost one hundred delicate new beginnings on a daily basis, each in the form of a young girl who has experienced trauma that no one deserves. Still, they laugh and play, and eagerly run outside without a sweater to grab the first swing on the playground. The specialized emotional care they constantly receive nourishes their souls and encourages their broken hearts to heal and personalities to blossom.

On January 30th, these precious girls will journey to the Western Wall, pouring out their broken hearts and no doubt piercing a very special place in heaven. In gratitude for your support, they would like to convey your prayer requests among theirs. Click here to take advantage of this special opportunity, at no cost to you www.levlalev.com/kotelprayers.

Imagine what it takes for a young, vulnerable girl to believe in a new future, a new chance. On this day of Rosh Chodesh, it’s yours for the taking.

I wish you the very best of a brand new month.

Rachel Weinstein

Director of Development

3 comments

  1. Victoria WAGNER

    Thank you for taking the time to share on this blog. As a victim of sexual abuse at age 6, I have longed, throughout my life (I’m 55), for the end of it all, several times a day, even in the form of prayer. A broken spirit is hard to heal on the best of days. Actually, I’m unsure as to whether it really can be. God knows why He allowed this thing to happen, all I can do is continue to trust Him. It’s not always easy, but I have the conviction that He loves me and is available to me any time I need to talk to Him. Let’s not be hard on those who don’t see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s the despair beyond despair that takes a person into those botomless depths, sadly you have to have been there yourself in order to undestand how isolated psychologically and emotionally you are, this dark cloud of rememberance never can go away. I pray for these little girls at LEV LALEV, they are suffering a lot. Pain is the worst burden in the world, especially when it isn’t physical. You can feel like you’re going mad at times. That’s when you have to find the strength and willpower to turn to God and let Him reason with you. God bless you all, you’re doing a great job.

    1. sim

      Wow. I’m really touched that you shared your feelings, that you’re able to rise above your pain and feel the pain of others. You should be blessed. May Hashem always be with you.

    2. Rachel Weinstein

      Victoria, I am in awe of your ability to face your feelings, such a monumental task. You are very brave. I believe there is an undercurrent of G-dly essence within us all that instills an inherent will to survive that cannot be denied – no matter what we encounter. While I’m sorry you are able to relate to the pain of our precious girls, I thank you for keeping them close to your heart. No doubt that this unfortunate ability creates a special place in heaven to receive your prayers for them – and for yourself.

      Wishing you the very best,

      Rachel

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