Good Bye: Part Two

So yesterday I wrote one of the most personal and emotional pieces I have ever written and the reaction was to say overwhelming but in a good way. Many didn’t know how good of a writer I really was. Though, at the same time, it brought people to tears which was not my intention but I guess when you write from the heart it brings out emotions you never knew you had. It was hard for me to write as well. I think at one point it started to hit me as well but I had to finish writing it and there was so much more that had to be said which is why I am writing this part two or as I like to think of it an addendum.

Last time around, I was asking myself questions that may never have answers but aside from that, it turns out that my sister, who for years, wanted to make the move began having doubts as it got closer to the “big day” which is normal. But after writing my previous post, I started to wonder if she really was doing this for her or for the children. Like me, she lived in Israel but she stayed an extra year because she loved it so much which makes me wonder why she never stayed there for good. It’s not for everyone true but I sensed her love was there which showed from an early  age. Honestly, her husband is Israeli so it would have been easier if they just moved there after they married (of course they both had jobs at the time.. Somewhat) but I do believe that it may have been better off if her kids were born there.

I say this because her son was scared of moving there and I felt bad for him. He’s 7 and he kept saying “Mommy I don’t want to go because the Arabs will hurt me”. Going to Israel is a new world for him. How do you explain to him the situation? How do you explain why Mommy and Daddy are moving away? How would a 7 year old react to a place where soldiers are always walking around with guns?  Then my Niece who is 4. How will she react? How will she handle it? In a way, I feel sorry for them.. No, maybe that’s not the right word… I feel bad for them.. It’s hard when you are at that age and you have to leave the friends you have to go to a place you’ve never been to with a language you don’t know. Finally, the newborn niece that’s only a few weeks old. This one hits me the most because I will never see her grow. I will never get to know her. She will never know who I am and that hurts me the most. My other question is: Will the other 2 forget me? I won’t be around to see them grow up. No more birthdays. I won’t even be there for his Bar Mitzva or her Bat Mitzvah (unless by some miracle I happen to be there). I have to be man enough here to admit that I’m not sure I can deal with this or even if I know how or if I even want to. My sister is scared. She regrets it but sadly, they need to stay for 3 years before returning or the money they got will be forfeited.

Because I have lived there, I am able to write about all this. I can also say that I know what she’s going through which I guess makes me understand certain things better. Although my going was more forced and not a choice. I ask myself what would have been if I had the choice instead? Would I have gone? I don’t think I can answer that because it no longer matters.  What does matter though is that she’s been there before so she knows what to expect although since we’ve both been there things changed.  Though, I think it’s gotten worse.

There’s nothing more for me to say. I think I’ve said all I can about this so I will end with this. I hope her decision turns out to be the right one. I hope I am wrong. I hope my Nieces and Nephew  grow up being happy instead of being miserable and I hope that one day I will be able to be there for their wedding. For now I wish you the best of luck and may G-D watch over you all. Be safe. I love and miss you all.

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Goodbye

 It’s always hard to say goodbye. Sometimes the best way of saying goodbye is to not say it at all. Case in point: My sister and her family decided that they wanted to make the move to Israel something she’s wanted to do for years but I never thought she’d actually do. Now, years later, with 3 kids (1 newborn), a dog, cat and a husband, she’s currently (at time of this writing) flying to her new home.  I may not know with certainty what’s going through her mind but I can relate to a certain extent.

A few years ago, I was in Israel. Lived there for almost 2 years. It wasn’t my first time there though. The first time I went it was a 10 day journey. There’s a big difference between going for 10 days and 2 years. It’s kinda surreal actually not to mention scary.  Here I was 5,000 miles away from home. Alone and unsure what to do. Sure I’ve gone away before but this was different not to mention that it was a whole different world.  At the time, I spoke little to no Hebrew so I wondered how I was going to communicate? I also wasn’t used to the economy and how it works which I guess is important if I’m to be living there. They try to take advantage of tourists when it comes to this and honestly, I’d look silly if every time I had to figure out what the amount is in American currency.  

    So going to Israel for that year and a half wasn’t really my idea. In fact, it caught me off guard when I was told I was going. I have nothing against going but it was something I wasn’t really prepared for. I mean how does one prepare? So many questions suddenly arose. What if I couldn’t handle it? What if I got homesick? So many “what ifs” arose that I possibly couldn’t answer them all.

   My sister made the choice long before she was married. It was something that I know she really wanted but once she started a family, it became harder and harder for her dream to become a reality. But only a few months ago her and her husband officially made the decision that would seal their fate. In a way it’s good that they did it now instead of later while the kids are still young. Ironically though, my sister, only a few days ago, realized that it had started to sink in and it seemed like she had doubts. But I guess that is expected.

     Every so often, I’m asked if I want to move to Israel on a permanent basis. The answer I give is: “If the right girl comes along and wants to” but the truth is I don’t know if I ever can. It scares the hell out of me. I have family that lives there but you essentially take you’re entire life and move it and start a new (which is what marriage is).  Honestly though I think that my living there for over a year taught me a few things. One thing was that it’s harder there then it is here in America.  The way of life is harder there then here. I’ve thought about this time and time again and I’m not so sure it’s for me. It’s not for everyone. In fact, I commend anyone that DOES do it as it’s not an easy decision to make and that includes my sister. I’m not sure but I think I have more respect for her now then I ever did. Should I be jealous?

      Yesterday, I had a phone conversation with my mom who was very emotional about the whole thing which I guess is normal. She knew this day was coming and we all knew that she would have a tough time dealing with it and she is and probably will be for quite some time.She was upset at me that I wasn’t showing any emotion about it. Women get more emotional about these things then men I guess but I’m not a parent so maybe I can’t feel it the same way she does, Maybe I’m dealing with it in my own way. ironically, as I write this I do feel somewhat emotional.   In truth, my sister and I never really had the best relationship and we hardly ever spoke  but now… I’m sad. I think I will miss her,

  I think I am more sad that I’ll never see my nieces and nephews grow up especially the newborn who will never know me (maybe). I wonder now if they will forget me. Will I ever see them again? What of the newborn? She will essentially be growing up there not knowing about us back home.. I’ll never see her grow up. I’ll never get the pleasure of being an Uncle to her. This makes me sad. It makes me want to cry. But I know I have to be strong. Being sad is one thing but crying over this won’t really help bring them back. 

    They did what they felt they had to do and in their minds it’s the right time for them to start a new chapter in their lives. The question I ask is this: Are they making a big mistake? Will they end up regretting it? Most important: Will the kids be happy? Like I said, better to do it when they are young because it might be even harder the longer they wait. In my heart I know they had to do this but deep down I worry and I wonder if I should. I also feel like a part of me died.

 One last thing: There’s a part of me that wonders if they are running away from something or someone.. For some reason, it bothers me that… I don’t know I get the feeling that they are abandoning us. Like we’re no good for them anymore, I know it’s silly to think that but I dunno. I think I blame myself.. I know I shouldn’t but there’s something bothering me about this whole thing and I can’t figure out what it is. Sure there’s Skype and Facebook and other forms of communication but it’s not the same. Is it better then nothing? Yes.

  All I can do now is hope they are safe and say that they are “home” and hope that one day we will all be reunited in some form or another. Now I can only pray to G-D to watch over them  and say that I miss and love them.

 

 

    

The Truth Hurts (Or The Aftermath Of Trying To Help Others)

In my last post I wrote how about some promoters are dishonest and will do anything to attract a crowd to the place they are promoting. I don’t regret what I did and in fact, I had people thanking me for standing up to these bullies. At the same time, I made a very bad judgement call  that would have done irreparable damage to an individual.  It seems that someone  posted a link to an article where it said that one of the guests at the hotel was a convicted child molester. Going on that, I then made it public trying to warn people who might go with kids or something. At the time, I thought I was doing the right thing and again, people thanked me for it.

 However, a few hours later, I was informed that what I thought was true was in fact not and in fact it was for a different crime altogether. I had to fix whatever damage I may have inadvertently caused. So I did what I felt was the right thing to do. I retracted my post and issued a public apology. Not only that, I privately messaged the manager of the place to apologize as well. I did have to delete the first one because I forgot to name the person and said crime. I reposted and within 24 hours, the manager decided to once again email me all pissed. 

Let me quote my statement:

Dear Friends,

I made a really bad judgement the other day in a post that I made. I never should have posted anything about Mr. Streicher being a child molester without double checking on facts and information. What I posted was based on incorrect information which I thought was accurate at the time. Though I can’t take back what I said, and though the damage may have been done, I am owning up to it. I feel bad and ashamed and I would never wish it upon anyone. I apologize from the bottom of my heart and to the Mr. Streicher who I may have inadvertently caused harm to and I wish him nothing but the best until 120.

That’s the apology which apparently didn’t sit well with the manager who deemed it neccessary to email me again with the following: 

Is there someone who can help you here? You are getting yourself into more and more trouble, and need counseling on how to proceed. In your first two posts about molestation, you did not mention (Took out person’s name)  by name, then in your second version of an apology you actually mentioned him by name. The District Attorneys office suggested I contact you before lodging an Aggravated Harrassment complaint. (PL 240.30), but i am assuming that I am better of speaking to any counselor (legal or psychological) or friend of yours because you must not know what you are doing.

Clearly this guy has issues. First off, this is unprofessional of any business and unethical as well. It took guts  to do what I did and not one that many would do. Did I mention that he wants to sue me for speaking the truth? Last I checked I was within my legal rights to post whatever I wanted. So as long as I’m not abusing my Freedom of Speech on what grounds can he sue me especially since all the negativity is public knowledge?

If he sees this is he going to accuse me of “defamation of character?” 

This makes him look bad not me because eventually people see you for who you really are. Bullies show their true colors. When you do what he’s doing it is because you are desperate and losing money. Doesn’t give you a right to use scare tactics. He claims he’s a lawyer which I don’t buy because if he was then he’d know the laws..  I asked him to stop contacting me and to leave me alone. Let’s see how long this sticks.

  If I really wanted to be a jerk, I could make the summons public which turned out to be a hoax because last I checked you can’t serve someone through email especially when they use a name of yours that’s not even legal.  

Apologizing took guts. I did it and I feel really good about it and again, people are applauding me for it. 

I don’t know what will happen next but I am not worried and as long as I have people on my side I should be okay.

Passover 2010 (Final Thoughts)

Well, Passover is over and with it goes the vacation and a return to reality. And while it went fast, I’m not complaining because this was actually one of my best Passover in a long time. Last year, I was in Israel for the holiday and I wanted so much to come home but unfortunately, I couldn’t and I was so bored and a little homesick but not this year. This year was filled with such fond memories with everyone together.

I mentioned all this in my last post so I won’t go into details here about it. What I will mention is this: So many people in one place and observing them seeing how they celebrate the holiday of Passover (and yes people have their own customs and traditions) and in some cases, meeting old acquaintances and friends that you haven’t seen in a long time. It amazes me how for a week the Jewish people come together in one place and celebrate together our Exodus after 210 years of slavery.

The bonds I made with my nephew and nieces  and how we really got to spend time together  and do just that. But the best memory I will always remember the most is the one with my grandfather. We went special to NY to pick him up so he could have lunch with all of us in the hotel (after we spent some time at Chuck E. Cheese) which I know made him very, very happy. I know it’s something he never experienced. But then again, this is the first time I ever experienced something like this as well (and my family’s second time).

But none of this would never have happened if it wasn’t for my grandfather who paid for all of us to go in the first place and for that, I thank him because if it wasn’t for him, I would never have had the Passover I had nor would I have had some fond memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Hopefully next year will bring newer experiences and memories that can be added to the ones that were made this year.

A good time was had by all.

Passover Gatherings

 Passover is the equivelent to Christams because it is when the families get together. The only difference is that Passover is 8 days (10 if you count the 2 extra days that everyone comes).  And while I can’t remember the last time my family came together for the Passover holiday, I know that I will remember this one and while being together as a whole has it’s ups and downs, it’;s to be expected however, no matter the incidents that happen.

   I write this from the lobby of the hotel that I am calling home for the week and a half (I have been here since Monday) and it amazes me how so many people from many different backgrounds come here for a “vacation.”  What amazes me even more is that I am here with my father, sisters, brother in laws, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and for the weekend, my brother and sister in law with the kids. Everyone under one roof together in a very, very long time. Have their been arguments? Sure. Disagreements? Yes. All this is expected but I feel that this is a good thing because then we can all give our opinions and know what each other is thinking. Yet, in a strange way, it also brings us closer and makes us stronger.

      There are some positive things for wanting to be in a hotel for Passover.  For instance, there’s never a shortage of food. Basically, 24 hrs of whatever you want (though pastries, fruits and tea after midnight.) Everything is catered which is good but what I like is how everyone comes together in one big Ballroom to enjoy the meals. Young, Old and the In Betweens. It’s like being at a wedding without the music. I do feel bad for the waiters though who have to be at your beck and call all day. This is NOT therefavorite holiday (I could be wrong) but at least they are nice.

It is also very relaxing and allows you to be lazy and while I am glad to have a pool for a daily swim, believe it or not, it can tire you out but it is relaxing and refreshing and in fact, it can be very liberating for reasons I can’t explain.

    Anyway, back to the family. For the first time in a really long time, we really got to do things together as a family. (More on that in my next post). It was fun and a different change of pace for once and thankfully, the weather was nice to us. Granted, we were indoors but hey, nice weather always helps.

    Last night, my nephews were smiling from the magic show that was put on for them and since it was geared for them, I took a dip in the pool and the whirlpool before it was time for the “grownup” show. I gotta say, the whirlpool did wonders for my back. Makes for  nice massage. The pool isn’t the greatest and I have been in better ones, but hey, at least the hotel has one. But it was so refreshing.

  The holiday is not yet over and we still have a few more days here and I am looking forward to spending time with my brother and the kids who I’m sure will love it here. In all honesty, I never understood why families go away to a hotel for Passover but now I think I do and it’s because they like the freedom, relaxation and the fact that for a week and a half, you have no worries and you can enjoy the atmosphere of a beautiful holiday. And what more could you ask for?