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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Special Holiday Message to My Sponsor


21 Tishrei 5771

Today is the Hoshana Raba portion of the Sukot holiday. I have a custom to make a ceremonial meal, in which I address the miracles of my life, on this date in the Jewish calendar.

Though I've never shared anything this personal on the blog before, here are some excerpts of the live presentation I plan to make later today:

The Creation narrative says "In the beginning the Almighty created…" to teach us that He only created the beginning. The remainder is left to us. — Rebbe Leibele Eiger of Lublin

A famous public figure, embittered by his lack of health, is fighting to mislead the world into dismissing the reality that HaShem (GOD) exists. He fights HaShem with every intellectual brain cell he has! He wants a cuddly toy bear of a god that gives fun presents such as excellent health, not the "Work Hard to Gain Insights" Reality which demands that we grow spiritually. He's not alone...

... The Leshem (a famous philosophical commentator on Judaism) teaches all this: the people who refuse to recognize kedusha (holiness) will be forced to repeat the "time and eternal lessons loop" that modern-day Gerald Schroeder teaches about.

Geula (global salvation) will come sooner once humanity openly realizes that HaShem is THE ONLY REALITY. Failure to admit this reality to oneself or to the world increases despair...

"Following the takeover of the boat 'Irene,' which carried Jewish left-wing activists who wanted to reach Gaza, Major-General (ret.) Yigal Pressler said that the navy may have saved the activists from a dire fate. Pressler, a former adviser on counter-terrorism to Prime Ministers Yitzchak Shamir, Shimon Peres, Yitzchak Rabin and Binyamin Netanyahu, said that the Gaza flotillas primarily endanger the activists themselves. "Gaza is enemy country. People who go there are putting their lives at risk and the leftists are also in danger. They could get abducted."

That protective anenei hakavod skhakh (the greenry atop suka booths - it represents the Clouds of Glory that protected Jews in the desert for 40 years) is something else, don’t you think?

A double catastrophe was prevented by Heaven: war and the gruesome kidnappings of our very enemies within...

My seudat hodaa (meal of thanks to GOD) today is an annual Hoshana Raba event to commemorate HaShem's restoration of my sight. I had been struck blind by two benign meningioma brain tumors in 1988. Surgery saved my life but not my vision. On Hoshana raba that year, my friend Rabbi Yitzy Erps beat hoshanot (myrtle leaves), the image of eyes, with a plea: "Av HaRakhamim (GOD of Compasssion) give Yocheved her Sight!!!!!" I began looking at the world in full color and better perspective within the hour.

[a few years later] I suffered through the news of a new meningioma. It was eradicated... In 2003 ... another meningioma growing atop and strangling my brainstem among other sensitive body parts [left me] at risk of losing heartbeat, let alone my abilities to move about, see, hear and swallow. I learned of the awful truth in an emergency room ... after waking up blind one morning. Emergency surgery once again saved my life but not my sight. Doctors said I was doomed to remain blind forever.

You know me by know and how I responded to the situation. I delved into the meaning of it all... I wept, screamed, duked it out in arguments with rabbis and friends and took on an organic lifestyle to heal my severely damaged optic nerves.

Shock of shocks, my vision has improved so much in five years that vision experts believe the day will come that I'll see fine without glasses. And I've gained a type of vision I never quite realized was developing: I needed to recognize my only duty. It is to the One Above, the Source of Love Who made me a millionaire with priceless friendships, amazing adventures that leave us breathless to realize them, a woman rich in miracles galore and opportunities I've taken to help other people in distress.

Why have I experienced not one but FIVE brain tumors that impaired my sight, let alone endangered my life? My guess is that it was an invitation from HaShem to see more than superficiality. I learned over time whom and what to value for eternity, and found expression of Divine love in the affection which friends held for me. HaShem spoke to me through my life. My heart, intellect and eyes looked to Him for life and comprehension. I sang tehilim (psalms) and other tefilot (prayers) at the top of my lungs when possible.

"Shiru Lo, zamru Lo, Sikhu bekhol nifla'osav"
שירו לו, זמרו לו, סיכו בכל נפלאותו
Sing to Him, make music for Him, speak of all His wonders. Psalm 105

The destruction itself is the construction - סתירת זקנים בנין.
The redemption sprouts from the destruction.
– A lesson for all time
from Rebbe Akiva
viewing the ruins of the Holy of Holies

I've been through astonishing difficulties (most of them not specified today) so that I could grow as a spiritual being in a paradoxically human form and gain insight into how to help other people.

Please consider my life and all the efforts I’ve made as a song to You.

To the precious friends in my life, who helped me to reach the future: From Hallel and Tehilim 118:17, “I shall not die, but will declare the works of HaShem.”

Lo amut ki ekhyeh, va’asper ma’asei HaShem.
לא אמות כי אחיה ואספר מעשי ה

Thank you Abba. I love you.

Rav A.I. Kook "The pure Tzadikim do not complain about the darkness, but rather increase the light!"

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Varda Meyers Epstein (Judean Rose) said...

What a story! How frightening to go through this, not once, but three times (did I count right?). I think you must have gotten all the lessons down pat from these issurim shel ahava.

Bless you, Yocheved. May you always have every kind of vision.
Chag Sameach.

Yocheved Golani said...

Yes, you counted correctly Varda: three instances of brain tumors in 15 years! I've been through ages and ages of physical, speech and occupational therapy and busted so many bones due to unpredictable variations in my sight that I've lost count of all the breaks! I cling to staricase rails very tightly so I won;t fall again.

ON eof my acquaintances calls me a Weeble Wobble, the toy that always bounces back up again :^ D

My readers have no concept of what I go through to produce rreadable copy. It's one heckuva process. I ddid not edit this messaage so i could illustrate what my rough dratsf tend to look like.



Yocheved Golani said...

Thank you for the blessings! I need 'em! YG