18 Tishrei 5782 / Friday, September 24, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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Coming of Ageless    

Coming of Ageless

We will need to let go of things we got used to, and struggle to embrace the benefits of what we are replacing these things with.


In the span of one morning, my 11-year-old daughter taught me the secret to growing up.  

“Shabbat! Shabbat! Everybody out of the house.” My wife announced.  

“Honey, I’m tired. How about I take them to the river in an hour? 

“How about you take the kids out right now and don’t come back until after they have had lunch? Unless you want spam instead of salmon for Shabbos dinner, I have a lot to do. 

She knows how to push my buttons, especially the one that says: In case of obstinance, press this! 


The Hike 

We started out hiking up Givat Ha’More, the biblical mountain in the heart of the Jezreel Valley. I got the kids each a bag of candy so I knew we had lots of energy for a good hour or so.  

Up we went.  

Everyone, armed with their hiking shoes and gummy bears, started marching.  

“All is well,” I said to myself as we traversed a few small hills.  

Then it began.  

We keep our parents in New York updated on the goings on in our family with videos. We bring our camera to every trip. For a few minutes, we take a small video where my eldest daughter talks about where we are and how things are going in the family.  

We encountered a fig tree, something very unique for this trail. My youngest is so excited that she asks me if she can host a video for Saba and Bubbie 

This was the first time she expressed an interest in hosting. I said sure.  

My oldest was not happy about sharing the spotlight.  

I try to explain that her sister is old enough to make her own videos and they would have to share. This was the first time she would ever have to share the stage with anyone else.  

Givat Ha’More is the mountain where 135,000 Edomites, Amalekites, and Midianites banded together to fight the Judge Gidon and 300 of his men.  

Going up against my eldest, I felt I was going up against Gidon, with the sixth sense that this would end for me the same way it did for the Amalekites 


The Fountain 

After the hike, we went to the main park in Afula. There is an open area with fountains. It’s about the size of two classrooms and there are 25 holes that shoot out cold water 10 feet in the air.  


In 95-degree weather, it’s the perfect place to continue our day 


My oldest was playing in the fountains, but watching me like a hawk. She was worried that I might take a video of her little sister while she was elsewhere.  


Then I decided to do something foolish. I played a prank on her.  


The camera off, I aimed it at my youngest as if I was filming.  


Her big sister exploded.  


She got so hot under the collar, she had to run to the fountain just to cool off.  


At my wits end, all I could do was catch my breath while all the kids were frolicking.  



The Reckoning 

Ten minutes pass.  


“Daddy, I’m sorry for getting angry at you. When I think about it, maybe it’s better to share the spotlight. I mean, if we both said something, the video can be a lot better.”  


That’s why we are living in the generation of Mashiach. Our kids are greater than we are, and they are bringing us back to God.  


“Honey. You just figured out what it means to grow up. Your little sister is old enough to make videos so you aren’t a one person show anymore. You realized that something you enjoy in your life just came to an end and you got really upset about it. That’s normal, sweetie. In fact, that’s really healthy. After you let it out and thought about it, you asked yourself the greatest question, ‘how can I benefit from this change.’” The words jumped out of my mouth.  


“You are 11 years old. Very soon you will stop being a girl and become a young lady. Every day will be like this one where a lot of the things you enjoyed will be no more, and new realities will set in. As long as you accept it, engage it as best you can, then ask yourself how you can gain from this change, you will grow up to be an even more amazing person that you already are.” 


She gave me a kiss.  


I got them a pizza.  


At the pizza shop, I took another video. It was my son eating his slice, saying hi, followed by both daughters, each speaking in turn about their day. It ended with both of them arm in arm saying “See you next time!” to Saba and Bubbie 



The Reckoning  

Mashiach is coming. The reality today, right now, is verbatim what the Gemara tells us the world and the Nation of Israel will look like when Ben David assumes his position as our king.  


Things will change.  


A lot of what we enjoy doing will stop. Most of the nonsense we enjoy on social media, smartphones, and the internet will be banished. A lot of the time we waste talking about the government will be forbidden. Any type of frivolous television will no longer be available.  


Most of what all of us do all day will be gone forever.  


We will be angry. There will be those, as the Zohar warns, who will actively resist Mashiach 


It’s up to us to follow in the footsteps of our children. To accept the loss. To scream out. To throw a temper tantrum in our daily conversations with Hashem.  


To understand why it is happening. To bear our withdrawal pains.  


To beg Hashem for help is letting it all go.  


To constantly ask ourselves, “How can I benefit from this new reality? 


The age of Mashiach, I think, will be something we constantly have to work for. It will be a time where the rewards of everything we do will be right in front of us. The closeness of Hashem will be all around us.  


Still, every advance forward will involve a change. In many cases, it will involve a huge change. We will have to let go of things we got used to and struggle, for a time, to embrace and engage the new benefits of what we are replacing these things with.  


My daughter’s coming of age serves as a signpost for the coming of age of our world. She is officially exempt from buying me a bowtie for Father’s Day.  


* * * 

David Ben Horin lives in Afula with his wife and children. Since moving to Israel in 2002, David has discovered Torah, writing hi-tech, hiking, coding ReactJS Apps, and hearing stories about the Land of Israel from anyone excited to tell them. Check him out on Highway 60 or email him your favorite Israel story at:  david.ben.horin@spreadyourenthusiasm.com. 

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