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His Beloved Children

S.I. Weinstock

Shavuos 2005 My first Yom Tov married! Nesanel and I decided to stay home so he could learn in yeshivah at night. I made my first roast ever — followed the cookbook instructions to the letter, because Mommy’s were too vague. Also cabbage kugel, three salads, creamy baked fish, and chocolate cheesecake. I managed to bentsch licht on time, but don’t ask what the kitchen looked like. I must have used every single mixing bowl and spoon I own, both milchig and fleishig.

Monday, May 13, 2013

field

Nesanel couldn’t get over my improvised sweet potato appetizer (I didn’t have time for the mushroom turnovers I was planning). After the first course, Nesanel sat back in one of the ugly chairs that came with this furnished apartment and taught me a song. It’s one they sing in yeshivah Shavuos night. “Kad Yasvin Yisrael.” The words describe how when Hashem sees Klal Yisrael learning Torah He calls to the Heavenly army and says, “Look at My beloved children.” The melody is so haunting, and I get the chills just humming it as I clean up after Havdalah.

It’s amazing how all my seminary dreams have come true. I’m living in Eretz Yisrael, married to a real ben Torah, and my working and cooking (even without the mushroom turnovers) give me a share in Nesanel’s learning. It feels surreal, yet so right.

 

Shavuos 2006

The baby’s finally asleep so I can start tackling the Yom Tov mess: dishes piled high in the sink and a kitchen floor that desperately needs a good mopping.

I’m exhausted, but Yom Tov was a dream. I went back to work after maternity leave three weeks ago, and having two days off to be with the world’s most delicious baby was wonderful. Nesanel’s been doing the laundry to help me adjust, but it’s hard to keep up with everything.

Worse than the tricky juggling act is leaving Mimi each day. She doesn’t cry when I drop her off at the babysitter — but I do.… Everyone tells me she’ll be fine. I know that intellectually, but emotionally it’s another story!

This year Mimi sat on my lap when Nesanel sang Kad Yasvin. I closed my eyes and swayed to the niggun, davening that one day, Mimi has the same nachas.

But even as I absorbed the song, I couldn’t help worrying. It’s just that … Nesanel’s been a bit depressed lately. At first I thought it might be something to do with Mimi — I’ve heard of new fathers having a hard time. But he says it’s nothing to do with the baby, and it really started a few months before she was born. He still heads off to yeshivah each day, but he doesn’t seem as excited about shiur as he did when we were first married. He’s even dropped his afternoon chavrusa so he can “unwind.”

I guess he’s tired with Mimi up at nights — we both are — and it must be agony trying to crack open the Gemara’s arguments when you’re a zombie. I hope it’s just a passing phase.

 

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