This is the third year in a row that I did not participate in the rikudgalim (dance/parade of flags). That is it. I am done. Three times is a chazakah.
(off topic: it is SO COOL that I can link to a definition of chazakah on Wikipedia!!!)
Two years ago, the pouring rain helped me to justify still being too tired to participate (even though my last surgery was over half a year earlier).
Last year, I determined to push myself and do it, until I realized there really were other options.
Finally, this year, I did not even consider it. OK, I considered it, but for only a fraction of a minute, so that does not really count.
I am just too tired, my feet are too swollen, and the kids are old enough to be doing their own thing (at least the older kids are).
Like last year, my eldest went with her friends, my son went on a tiyul (hike) with Sayarut (scouts) (after attending the Bat Mitzvah of one of the girls from his class), and that left my youngest, who went to Zam Zam and did not even miss the parade.
I was all set to attend our community davening (praying) -- this year, all the Batei K'nesset (shuls/synagogues) prayed together in one minyan (quorum), in the large, neighborhood schoolyard (down the block from us).
Moshe wanted to attend a film about the battle for the Old City in the War of Independence, followed by a talk given by Natan Gini, one of the children who fought to defent the Old City during the War of Independence.
My daughter's fifth grade class had done a play about his brother, Nissim Gini, the youngest fighter to fall in defense of our country. He was only ten. His big brother, Natan, was all of twelve at the time. Afterwards, the kids all wrote letters to his sister, sharing what the story meant to them.
Though I was inclined to attend the davening and then come home and rest (let's not forget that I had chemo today -- though I only had Herceptin since the doctor is giving my gastrointestinal tract a rest for a week, before he lowers the dosage in an attempt to alleviate, or at least significantly lesson, my stomach troubles).
"Why would you send me the information if you do not want to go?" my husband asked, perplexed.
When my youngest heard that Natan Gini would be speaking, she also wanted to go. That tipped the balance.
Both the film and the presentation were interesting and informative.
On the way back to our car (there was terrible traffic, so we parked pretty far away), I met an older friend, returning from the Old City.
I felt a brief pang of regret that I had not participated, but it did not last long.
I was tired enough.
And ready to go home.....
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
When a Jew Dies Far from Home
2 hours ago