Monday, October 11, 2010

When push comes to shove, blood is not thicker than water; Money is.

My father, whom you have read about on numerous occasions; and whom I adored and loved more than any person, save for my wonderful children, taught me many things in our short forty-six years together.

All of which, so far, have turned out to be quite correct, with the exception of one glaring item, which, truth be told, is the one thing that should absolutely be correct, but sadly, these past few weeks I have learned otherwise.

"Blood is thicker than water", he would say. Relating of course to family bonds, loyalty and love; meaning that no matter what, in the end, blood, family loyalty and respect for that loyalty will triumph over anything and anyone who tries to break that bond of blood over water.
On Rosh haShana, of all days, I learned that this is not true, when the Mezzuzah that adorned the doorpost of my grandmother's home, in which I live, was stolen, and in it's place, a note was left by the thief, not only identifying himself by name, but admitting that he was the thief! Later in the day, he reached my by telephone (I initially answered as I saw the number and thought that the call was due to my mother being hospitalized) and told me to go get the note that he had left for me where the "F***ing 'Jew Thing' used to be on the door". He subsequently left me four voice mail messages threatening my life, using highly anti-Semitic rants if I did not leave my grandmother's house and move back to Arizona. He then showed up at my residence a few days later and pointed his fingers at me like a gun and reminded me through the window that he owns guns and knows how to use them.

The following day, I did what any normal person would do, and filed for protection with the Superior Court. I was granted a Temporary Restraining Order against this maniac, but lo-and-behold, he was somehow able to evade process of service.

What you may ask does this anti-Jewish piece of dirt have to do with blood being thicker than water? It so happens that he is married to my blood, and she, amazingly enough, condones his behaviour, and even smirked when played his voice mail messages, that, among other rants included his opinion that "Rabbis are just like Catholic Priests; they love to mutilate little boys by cutting off pieces of their penises." And that Rabbis have a "fake f***ing religion."

You see, it is all about the almighty dollar. And that makes me sad. This relative of mine once told me (following a thirteen year gap where the despicable husband interfered previously) that never again would she allow anyone or anything to come between us; that life was too short and that indeed, blood is thicker than water. If only that were true. The truth is, that her goal and that of her insane (born Jewish) Nazi husband is to sell the house in which I live, even though they have no right to it, legal or otherwise.

Her basis is to continue to accuse me of mistakes that I made thirty years ago. Who has not erred?

It is true that each of makes mistakes in our life. The goal is to remedy them, ask forgiveness from those whom we have hurt, atone for them to G-d and move on to better things and a better life. This is the basis for our wonderful faith. Absent this faith, what do we really have?

We would have a life absent joy. Absent the pure simcha of seeing our children go up to the Torah and read; absent the blessing of walking our children to the Chuppah (Wedding Canopy); absent the knowledge that our children have ascended in their lives and Jewish education and have become Jewish adults, we would have a life that is empty and void of happiness.

Should she continue on this path, my relative will never know this joy. For this, I am not angry. I am disappointed and I feel compassion and I feel pity. For the Joy of Torah is absent in her life, and the only G-d that she knows is green, with numbers on its corners and pictures of dead presidents on the front center panel. It is sad indeed.

May she awake someday soon and thank G-d for the day that she has been given; may she open her eyes to Torah and to the knowledge that all she was taught as a young girl is true and is good. May she walk away from the evil that surrounds her and encompasses her life. May she realize that blood is thicker than water. May she come home.

From Sunny Southern California and the Emek in the Maarav, I bid you Ahavah u'Vrachot; Love and Blessings...

--Rabbi Alan Abrams