The New Year

I’m no rabbi.  I admit that I don’t know all the stories of the Bible–not even half.  I am religious, but not very observant.  BUT in this period between Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur I have paused in my active life for reflection.  Each day of my life I am grateful, of course, for the blessings of health, safety, and happiness; for the free and just country in which I live; for the survival of my parents so that we, their children, could thrive.  And yes, for my beloved new granddaughter, Zoey.  Yes, I am grateful, but today I want to talk about forgiveness–something at which I am not always so good.  It was my mother who told me to forgive, especially those who most wronged you, for they were the ones who needed forgiveness the most.  And if she could forgive, well, couldn’t I?  So this year, I will try to understand others more, their temperament, their personal struggles, their disappointments…and I will try to remember that what we have in common is greater than our differences, and that ultimately, we are all a part of the same family–the human race.  This year, I will try to remember forgiveness.


About shirleywachtel

Shirley Russak Wachtel is the author of The Story of Blima—A Holocaust Survivor (publ.2005), a novel which recounts the early years of her mother, Betty Weisstuch Russak. The novel s listed as a recommended novel by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Wachtel is the author of several children's books, including a series of interactive mysteries, Charlie Wonder, Chef-Detective (2005), which includes several recipes; Brad Sureshot, Coach-Detective (2007) which details basketball skills; and Howie Rocket, World-Traveler-Detective (2009) which has handy foreign language phrases. In The Mellow Light (2009) is her first book of poetry. She is a professor of English at Middlesex County College in New Jersey. In addition, Wachtel is the co-author of Spotlight on Reading (2011), a textbook for college-level students. A mother of three sons, she resides with her husband, Arthur, in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Initially written as a doctoral dissertation for her Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew University, My Mother's Shoes , says Wachtel, is not just the novel of her life, it is the novel of her heart.
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