Chocolates are nice, especially if they are from Max Brenner or Godiva, and I love good ice cream, but what I really want is... FREE.
What I really want for my birthday is a letter from you.
I would love a letter telling me why you think I am special, or how I have touched your life.
PLEASE be specific. PLEASE give details or examples.
Please send your letter via email.
Please include how I know you -- unless I would know who you are, even if you woke me up at 3:00 in the morning and I was half asleep.
Please take your time. This means a lot to me. So give it some thought.
Almost 20 years ago, just before I made Aliyah, I received a present that is more valuable to me than almost anything I own. My dear friend, IS, had all my friends sign a book entitled:
"The Why We Love Rivka Book"
I read page after page of "I Love Rivka Because...."
I cried. I laughed. I felt like I made a difference in this world. I felt blessed.
I learned about things I did, some without even realizing it, that made a difference in my friend's lives.
Today, my home is a mess! But it took me less than a minute to find that book on my bookshelves.
During those first post-Aliyah months, when I was alone and new in this country, I would draw strength from the entries. In those pre-email days, when international phone calls cost over a dollar a minute, I could open my book and be embraced by the love and appreciation of my friends.
A long time has passed.
Surprisingly, I am still in touch with many of those friends.
I am closer with some, more distant with others. That is to be expected.
Several live in Israel. Others get in touch when they come to visit.
To this day, IS is one of my closest friends on this planet. (Perhaps I should write a letter to her, detailing all the ways that my life has been enriched by our friendship).
I will always treasure for my book.
I will forever be grateful to all those who gave me the greatest gift of all, by sharing their appreciation of who I am, and making me feel loved beyond measure.
I am thinking that this is what I want every year.
Of course, if you don't have time, you are welcome to send expensive chocolates!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Dear Mr. Surgeon,
56 minutes ago