Monday, March 19, 2018

The Blessing of Simcha and Shalom

This past weekend, my wife and I had the pleasure of making our first bar mitzvah, for our eldest son, Simcha Shalom. His name has a very interesting reason, of particular relevance to readers of this website.

Thirteen years ago, as many of you may recall, was an extremely difficult, turbulent and painful time for my wife and I. The controversial banning of three of my books took over our lives. People who have not lived through such a thing cannot imagine how painful it was - in particular, with former friends/ colleagues who turned on me, and with slander that was spread about me.

After several months of this, I decided to drive on Shabbos. Because I had to take my wife to the hospital. Hashem blessed us with something very special: A new child! We decided to name him Simcha Shalom. "Simcha," because he was a source of tremendous joy at a difficult time. And "Shalom," in the hopes that he would be a harbinger of peace.

Well, the latter part did not come true, at least not immediately. The controversy still raged for a year after he was born (and the ripples continue even through today). But he is certainly a peaceful child by nature. And he lives up to his first name, Simcha, in ways far exceeding our expectations. He is full of joy and exudes happiness and appreciation for everything in life.

Just to share one story about our wonderful son: Seven years ago, I bought a bookcase from Ikea, and one component turned out to be damaged. Frustrated, I had to drive all the way back, and I decided to take little Simcha with me. It was a long drive, and I got lost on the way. Finally we arrived, and then we had to wait in line for a long time; I got Simcha a drink while we waited. Then it was my turn, and they told me that they didn’t have that part in stock. I was fuming at the wasted afternoon. Then suddenly Simcha turned to me and beamed, “Aba, we’re having a special day together, right?”

Thank you, Hashem, for this wonderful blessing, along with all the blessings that You have bestowed upon me.

30 comments:

  1. Mazol Tov and much nachas from Australia

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  2. Mazel Tov! May you and your wife have much continued Nachat from your son!

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  3. Wow. Love that kid. Keep him close.

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  4. Mazal Tov! what a beautiful message. May you have much nachas from him and all of your children.
    josh kahan

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  5. Gorgeous! Mazaltov!!

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  6. What a beautiful story about the trip to IKEA! Lots of nachat!

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  7. Mazal Tov
    kt
    joel rich

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  8. Mazal tov, love the story about Ikea, may you continue to have Nachas, Simcha, and Shalom from your entire family.

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  9. A huge mazal tov and may your son always see that half-full glass!

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  10. Mazal tov! May you all have continued simcha and nachas together.

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  11. Mazel tov to you, your wife, and Simcha. You're right. I can't imagine the pain you and your family must have suffered during that persiod in your life... and to a certain extent still suffer. Truly undeserved. My hope is that your future is bright and free of controversy. And filled with continued Nachas from your children.

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  12. Mazal Tov. That's a really nice picture and a wonderful story.

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  13. Mazal tov!! What a wonderful son, what a marvelous story to remember. Every day with a beloved son like that is a treasure. May you have many days, weeks, months and years with him and the whole family!

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  14. Mazel tov!

    And I congratulate you on your choice of names. I completely believe that names have power and one should therefore always choose a name that embodies good character traits.

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  15. You realize someone is going to take the "After several months of this, I decided to drive on Shabbos" out of context as proof that youre approach to Torah led you to be a mechalel Shabbos?

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  16. Mazal Tov. I am sure all the nachus is well earned.

    On a pedantic note (and I hate doing this - since it implies a level of perfection I cannot hope to live upto):

    1. After several months of this, I decided to drive on Shabbos. Because I had to take my wife to the hospital.

    Should probably be written as:
    After several months of this, I decided to drive on Shabbos, because I had to take my wife to the hospital.

    I suspect that you are being slightly mischievous here, trying to suggest that you became a mechalel shabbat as a result of the drama, rather than as a halachic imperative.

    2) Did you actually decide to drive on Shabbos or were the circumstances such that you were obligated to drive?

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    1. The "bad grammar" was exactly what was needed to tease the reader. Spot on!

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  17. Good-looking young man. May you get only Nachas and Sholom as you deserve. But what a peculiar choice of tie!

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  18. Your IKEA story really moved me - what a sweet boy! Mazal tov!

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  19. R' Natan, Mazal tov and much nachat from the bar-mitzvah boy and the family.

    Y. Aharon

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  20. Very beautiful in many ways! Mazel Tov and much Nachas!

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  21. Mazel tov! May he provide you with much nachas.

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  22. Loved the ikea story (rationlist? nah. Beautiful? yeah)

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