Sunday, May 29, 2011

Honesty and The Jewish Community VII: Sadness

(continued as part of this series)

When I left off the story, I was driving into the Old City with my good friend Rivka T. and my almost 2 year old baby, Kayla, when I had just received the news that my boss had just been arrested.

After I got off the phone, I remember that I was literally shaking. To try to give it an analogy, and please excuse me if this comes off the wrong way, I think it's like the disconnect between getting sick, going to the doctor, being told there are some negative results, and that they need more testing, over and over again - and then being told finally that it's cancer. As much as you have a nagging feeling telling you this could be bad, until it's official, it just doesn't really click until the news hits.

Thank God, Rivka T. was a lifesaver that day. We parked, walked through the Old City, I stopped in for a very quick hello at my cousins who live there, went through the Cardo, and down the steps toward the Kotel - quite the feat with a stroller and a rambunctious, tired 2-year old. After going through security, which was quite difficult as well, we realized that Kayla had lost a shoe. Thankfully and surprisingly, I was able to run back and find it rather quickly; we checked the pictures we'd taken and realized it had to have happened in the last few minutes.

A few minutes later, Rivka T. offered to watch Kayla while I would go daven Mincha at the Kotel. As I finished Mincha, my phone rang. It struck me later that the people calling me, vendors we had used and owed a substantial amount of money, are not Jewish - and yet, despite no reason to have added care for us, despite being owed so much money - they always acted more properly than any individual, professional, or company we dealt with that entire year. They had just read about the arrest in the Wall Street Journal, and were afraid how it would impact us - and in turn, them. I asked them for patience, as I knew as much as they did at that point, and thankfully, they graciously gave me time. (Sadly, they were probably hurt more than anyone other than perhaps the employees once everything ended, never receiving what they were owed - and yet to this day, they have been the most kind, honest, gracious people.)

A little while later, we were walking out of the Old City, when I spotted a familiar figure walking toward us with a friend of his. I turned to Rivka and immediately pointed the person out, and said "What if he doesn't know? How do I tell him?!"

A minute later, we came closer. The person I'd pointed out had recognized me, and was smiling broadly, saying, "What's up!? What are you doing here?!" We'd been pretty friendly in the past, and I gave him a brief hug, then paused as he looked at my somber face while I asked if he'd heard anything that happened today. He gave me a questioning, worried look, then we stepped off to the side and sat on the ground at the edge of the stone-brick walkway.

After a second to gather myself, I told him simply:
"I'm so sorry... Your father was arrested this morning."

(to be continued)


  1. OY. So sorry you've had to carry this around for so long. What an awful thing to have gone through.

  2. "If only" you'd actually move on....

  3. I've moved on. I think this series is important for other reasons, as noted in a prior post.

  4. Who are you to tell anyone such terrible news? Did it cross your mind that this family did not want their child to know this news, or they would want to break the news themselves? How dare you?!!!

  5. No good deed will go unpicked-at by your anonymous judge & jury.

  6. @ Anonymous
    Who are YOU to critique Ezzie anonymously? Show your face if you are going to critique someone who has shown his, you blithering idiot.

  7. Rebbetzin - It's okay, we all survived. I'm trying to show something here, which to some extent my fun anonymous commenters are doing for me. :)

    Anon - LOL! So let's see... 21st century... odds their kid wouldn't find out within a few hours? Zero.

    I suggest you keep reading, you'll understand even more why it was important that I told him. He was about to find out anyway, and I assure you it would have been far more painful.

    Also - really? The family "didn't want him to know" - ? He's 18, 19 at the time, not a baby. If they wished to do so themselves, it had by then been a number of hours, in the middle of the day Israel time. They had plenty of opportunity. And perhaps most importantly, it is much better to receive bad news face to face, from someone who can be somewhat reassuring.

    Read on!

    Bob - Heh. Oh, I'm well aware. It's quite good - it will help show exactly what I'm trying to show as the series continues.

    Eyekanspel - Thanks. I don't worry much about anonymous people. One of the best decisions I've made was to not be anonymous here - people know who I am, what I'm all about. I don't throw stones from behind walls. People who need to hide their identity generally know inside that what they're saying has no substance, and only sounds good from behind a veil.

  8. This particular anonymous appears to be a jerk, but I don't think it's fair to lump in all people who hide their identity. Some of us are, like me for example, are just afraid of being discriminated against by religious people.

    I believe you agreed with me at one point that I should continue to hide my identity online, and you know who I am.

  9. As for the post, my sympathies. I once accidentally broke the news someone his grandfather had died. (Accidentally in that I was friends with this guy's cousin, and I thought of the deceased as the cousin's grandfather... duh. I felt awful.)

  10. JA - I didn't mean to lump all - I'm specifically referring to the types who make comments in this manner. I certainly feel there's a place for anonymity, and your situation is an example, though I do believe strongly that anonymity in general is a poor approach.

    Thanks on the rest.