For the rest of my life, I will never forget Thursday, June 7, the day we learned that the rare, malignant cancer in my mom’s leg had metastasized into her lungs.
The news was a shock to all who know and love Lori Ann Bolotin, the most impatient, neurotic, obsessive, lovable woman I could ever even imagine being blessed to call my mother.
She does not deserve this. No one does. But the real task ahead for those of us supporting her on the sidelines is how to make sense of the enormity of emotions we feel as we wait from chemotherapy to free her body of this disease.
And so, it is with that thought in mind, coupled with the immense love I feel for my mom, my family, and all the amazing, wonderful, beautiful souls who have reached out in support these past few weeks, that I turned to Torah – to this week’s parsha in particular – for guidance in this liminal moment, as we nervously look ahead to the newest phase in our lives.
These were the best thoughts that I – a son, a student of Torah, a rabbi – could muster. I pray that I am able to cling to these convictions through the difficult weeks ahead.
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I have never stayed at a Motel 6. In the world of cookie-cutter highway motel institutions, I’ve frequented many a Best Western, more than a handful of Hilton Expresses, and even a La Quinta Inn or two. But nary a Motel 6 have I even entered. Read more
“These are the things that people eat the fruit of in this world but the principle remains for the world to come, and these are them: honoring one’s father and mother, acts of loving kindness, attending a Beit Midrash morning and evening, hospitality to strangers, visiting the sick, welcoming a bride, attending to the dead, devoted prayer and making peace between two people, but the study of Torah is equal to them all.” [Based on Shabbat 127a] Read more
Sitting in a room, in the most unlikely of places, I look up at the six people staring at me. They want answers, they want to understand, they seek perspective.
I give it all to them. An hour meeting. I’ve sweat through my undershirt. But I’ve also made sense of the questions. I’ve proven myself to an unsuspecting audience. I’ve taught and inspired and moved them all, with humility and respect and awe for the process.
The phone rings. I answer. They make me an offer. Read more