Better Half

Photo by Semenov Sergey on

This is a piece I wrote a few years ago, but as I quote from this week’s Torah Portion, Parshas Emor I thought now would be appropriate to repost it.

    What I wanted to write about on this lovely afternoon in the month of May, was the feeling I had on Tuesday morning, the day my lovely wife was going to be coming back from an arduous long journey away from home for three whole days.. I vividly remember (as it happened not even two weeks ago) feeling an excitement, that could only be compared to the excitement a schoolgirl feels right before her first day of school. I felt more jubilant than I do immediately prior to shopping at Century 21. I was more delighted than a frat boy delights over a Corona, and more pumped to see her than a meat head is pumped to drink an expensive protein shake after getting brolic in the gymnasium. 

To put it simply– I was darn excited. 

You see dear Henry, (the name of my old blogg) I was not expecting to miss her so intensely, as she was only out of town for three days. But the reality is, that I missed her much more than JR smith and Melo missed the hoop last night, when they fell to the Celtics in Game 5 in MSG. I Missed her more than Michael Bay missed the mark, when he made Pearl Harbor. I missed her more than that movie missed the mark- and that’s an awful lot girl. Normally, after the children go to sleep every night, I work– I take care of the office-work aspect of my job. Truth be told– me and my wife don’t even get to bond as much as we should– she is doing things in the kitchen, listening to Torah lectures, and I am tending to the IPad and computer. When the work is done, I feel more tired than a chimpanzee feels after climbing a large tree in the Denver Zoo. But, Henry, even though we don’t actively communicate as much as we should during these nights, we still very much feel each other’s presence. Even if I am in another room, I know darn well she is running the house, from a room away, and this is an awesome feeling.
      However, those nights when she was away, once the kiddies were sleeping, I felt glum and down. Knowing she was one state away was very depressing, and lonely. Usually during the nights, as well as during the early mornings, I try to study the Lord’s Good Book. I try to make it my priority that the last thing I do before taking a shluff is studying His Good Book, and before I go to synagogue at 6:40 AM every day, I arise at 5:20 AM so that I can start my day off on the right foot, Learning His Torah. Heck- starting the day off with a a heavy dosage of Torah, is like starting a race in Thailand two thousand and fifty meters ahead of the starting booth– it provides a monumental boost.

When my wife went away, I assumed this routine would continue. Interestingly, however, I simply sensed no motivation. I was too tired at night, and when my alarm started beeping at 5:20 AM, I couldn’t get out of bed. Every other day of the year, it is not a problem– but somehow, now, I wasn’t able to get up early to learn. I experienced something very profound that the Kli Yakar, a commentator on the Torah teaches us from this week’s Torah portion, Amor. The Kli Yakar writes that a Jewish woman is her husband’s sustainer. If I bring home wheat, that is very nice, but who turns it into the delicious challah I eat every Shabbos? If I bring home flax, that is lovely– but who spins it, and eventually turns it into the linen clothing on my back? On a deeper level, a man’s wife turns him into a man– she takes his raw materials– and develops him into a better person, someone who can achieve his purpose and fulfill his mission. She inspires and helps give him meaning and a drive to succeed. As I once heard quoted from a movie I didn’t see, she “makes him want to be a better man.” I realized that every second I am around my wife, I am refueling my spiritual gas tank– her mere presence gives me the very real feeling, that there is nothing in the world that I cannot accomplish. Just like food sustains me and enables me to function, so too, my wife is my sustenance and inspiration.
       Therefore, it came as no surprise, that when my alarm started buzzing at 5:20 AM, the first morning after she returned, I jumped out of bed quicker than a fire truck racing down Alameda Avenue on a Thursday night.

      My Better Half returned.


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