tales of love, sobriety, growth… and everything in between

Noon With Nova… part 4

Messages from a Jewish Grandmother to her Granddaughter

Good day my Bunchkie. I love you..


Your momma really got me thinking with this prompt…and using the Google.


I will freely admit I never knew there were 613 mitzvot.
I will also tell you I have now read every one…and I can’t say I am a better person for having read them…I encourage you to read them…and know that most will not be how I ever perceived doing a mitzvah, or being the recipient of one. So, I will proceed to share with you my version of a mitzvah…and suggest you proceed doing good deeds on a daily basis…so much so that they are simply a part of your day…you do not have to be conscious of performing them…you are simply living as a kind, giving , charitable human…


Your Uncle Luke never wanted to take the yellow limo to school…so on the way I had the 10 minute ride to perform a mitzvah…no, not me driving him to school…that was certainly not a mitzvah…however the words I was able to bestow upon him on the way will resonate with him always…”Make it a great day, be safe, I love you…AND DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE TODAY…”


I will tell you the same…every opportunity I get…
To me a mitzvah does not have to be a profound leap in front of a car to save a life moment…(although that obviously is a mitzvah)…it can be as simple as cooking a dinner for a needy person…or holding a heavy package in assistance when you see someone struggling…


I will tell you…when you mirror your mommy…you will learn to be kind, giving and selfless…and to fight for those that need to be fought for…and the beliefs that need to be held in the highest of priorities…from saving an animal destined for death…(your Tiggs in his canine heaven)…to being charitable and givng of her time to educate and fight for a better understanding of your heritage…this may be her greatest mitzvah…and she is only 33 years old….you will see all the good she will do for you and the world.
If you can proceed through life making someone feel good about themselves on a daily basis; you will live whole…that is my belief. It can be so simple…and fulfilling. As I write this the 613 mitzvot are reeling in my head…not sure I have performed a single one…they are actually commandments to G-d…and well, for me that is another day’s noon with Nova…ask your Dad how I feel about that…


Live your life so you never.. have to even think you are performing a Mitzvah…it will become intrinsically who you are…
I can share with you my greatest mitzvah.
“Auntie”Beth…you know; my bestie for over 53 years…Beth never asked much of me…I am sure I asked much more of her during our long and treasured friendship…


She had one request…that I be with her while she was dying…actively dying…as in: “hold my hand, feed me and wipe my butt when I can no longer do it be with me…”
Now, many people would ofcourse do this…but for me this would be a huge leap of faith…as I was always told I was not good at this…not good when people would need me most…when they were sick…


I will say I had what I thought were quite a few years to prepare for this as Bethie had a long standing terminal illness. Nothing prepared me for being in a hospital room for seven long days with the friend who saved me a million times…


Yes, I wiped her butt, yes I fed her what she could eat her last nourishment…and yes I held her hand, rubbed her feet, and answered “soon” when she asked me how much longer…
I did it Charlotte, a mitzvah…a great mitzvah…and guess what? I received at the same time my greatest mitzvah…In the process of being with Bethie…I realized she had given me my greatest gift…she allowed me the honor of being with her as she passed …and taught me I could do it…believe me; she did not need me there…she did this for me…and I am forever greatful.


As I go on…I would like to think that when I take a spider outside to save its life instead of killing it I am doing a mitzvah…believe me you are not going to find that one in any of the 613! I would like to share with you one more example…because it crossed my mind …and often does…


Your Uncle Luke is a mensch…and he does many acts of kindness…hopefully having listened on that ten minute yellow limo ride to the Novaisms he had to put up with on the way.
As you know; Uncle Luke played a great deal of basketball…Well, one weekend we were at a tournament somewhere in Mississippi…there were two seconds left in the game when his friend was fouled and went to the line to make his bonus shots…if he made them…likely the game would be over giving them the entire tournament win…He missed both…and was devestated, embarrassed and felt the weight of his teammates on his shoulders…I watched as your Uncle went to him and said: “I missed a basket or more in this game…same 2 points”
That young man who missed those points has gone on to play basketball for Israel…and I am sure he remembers those words…
I only ask that you act with compassion and kindness Charlotte…and do what you can to live a life where giving is the gift…the rewards of life are in the selfless acts…where mitzvot become second nature…


And when you are older certainly read the 613 and have some in depth conversations to have them explained to you…and we will talk about them…


From my heart with love, Nana

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