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Facing Judgment

Riva Pomerantz

Rosh HaShanah. The day which will set in motion all the myriad events that will play out over the course of the year. Do we truly appreciate the courtroom in which we stand each Rosh Hashanah, as every deed is judged, every verdict recorded? These four true vignettes reflect the awesome power of the Judge who sees and knows all. Here we glimpse gnawing fear, desperate hope, and ultimate results.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

scalesThere is an envelope on the kitchen counter. I am terrified to open it. It is an envelope that will alter our lives, possibly forever.

This envelope is the culmination of months of exhaustive work. Of telephone calls — suggesting, begging, pleading, sweet-talking; of carefully-dropped, thinly-veiled hints; of pasted-on smiles and critical wardrobe inventories.

I sigh as I avert my eyes from the crisp rectangle. In it lies a piece of paper that will inform us about whether Shani has been accepted to the seminary of her dreams.

You may think I’m being melodramatic. And perhaps I am. But I have seen, firsthand, the effect a seminary choice carries, in shidduchim, in jobs — it’s huge.

There is so much that hangs in the balance, so much that is dependent on that piece of paper. Things like friendships — new friendships we hope Shani will cultivate, and old friendships we would prefer to see crumble. There is her fragile self-esteem and the boost it will give her to open that envelope and see the magic words, “You have been accepted.”

Can there be a more empowering word in the English language than “acceptance?” After everything she has been through in the past twelve years, the golden glow of those sought-after words will do wonders for our daughter, and that will just be a prelude to the nurturing, enthusiastic environment this seminary is famed for.

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