Thursday, January 16, 2014


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Yisro
16 Shevat 5774/January 17, 2014

As we sat on the plane awaiting takeoff a few weeks ago, our three year old daughter Chayala looked out the plane’s window and made an exciting observation, “Look Mommy and Abba; there’s an airplane.”
A wise man once said: “If you don’t master time, time will master you.” Time doesn’t stop for anyone or anything. A person must periodically step back to take stock of his life, what he’s accomplishing, and what aspirations and dreams he has yet to fulfill. One must also appreciate his accomplishments, and the blessings he has been granted.
Recently, Chani received a phonecall from her sister that her childhood friend’s grandmother had died. She immediately called her friend to convey how sorry she was to hear about her grandmother’s passing. Chani then proceeded to tell her how much she loved her grandmother, especially because she was such a dear friend of her own grandmother.
When she finished, her friend thanked her for the call. “But,” she added, “I should tell you that it was my other grandmother that died.” After hearing that, Chani wanted to drive down to Lakewood to the home of the “living grandmother” just to give her a hug, and to tell her what she meant to her.
The sad truth is that we often don’t appreciate things that surround us and the things we are involved in. How often do we think about the gift of our spouses, children, cars, health, community, neighbors, kehilla, schools, etc.
Throughout the years we have been married b’h, Chani and I have some random “freeze moments”, when we tell each other that we should freeze this moment in our memory. We refer back to those moments at times. The first moment was during our wedding, and we have thankfully had many since then.
This week my children shared with me something they had – strep! During the time I was sidelined with fever, chills, and a throbbing throat, and unable to sleep, it helped me appreciate the health I take for granted.
We can’t appreciate our own lives, if we’re too busy looking out the window at everyone else. 

     Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
     R’ Dani and Chani Staum

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