What the rabbi said....

Dateline: Thu 17 Feb 2011

Rabbi Brett Krichiver -- who ever thought a rabbi would be so young as to be named Brett??? -- spoke truth Wednesday at the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, during the grandarents' day event.

OK, it's not politics, it's not media, it's not even turmoil. But it is life. And on a warm February day, with snow and ice melting, life is what is good.

If you've ever pondered why being a grandparent is so special, and yet found yourself grasping at cliched straws -- "you can send them home after you're done playing with them"; "they're just more fun"; "you're relaxed with grandkids, unlike your own kids" etc. -- then give a listen.

The rabbi, whose daughter Sierra is in the IHC preschool along with my grandson Ezra -- both 4 -- explained that on Shabbat, the traditional Friday night service, little girls are given a blessing from Rachel, Leah and Rebecca, (all matriarchs in the Old Testament). Little boys also get a blessing, but theirs is not quite on a par. Instead of invoking Abraham, Issac and Jacob, their blessing mentions some Old Testament grandfathers who are mostly obscure figures from Jewish history. Point: they are grandfathers.

The rabbi used this tradition to explain why grandparents are so important and what the bond is.

"As parents, we try hard to instill our values in our children...when we become grandparents, that's when we realize that our values will live on."

We see the cycle of love repeat itself, and that, indeed, is very fulfilling. (Especially when we reflect honestly on how hard it was to be a decent mom or dad, and we acknowledge our failures).

Later, the rabbi's mother (obviously a grandmother) amplified in a private conversation: "Grandparents are the standard bearers," she explained, which, in her mind, is why we love our grandchildren so much: we have a fresh opportunity to again pass down our core values. We relish seeing that the traditions and love we gave our kids indeed paid off, and is now paying dividends.

That, to me, helps explain why so many grandparents are so invested in grandchildren -- and why some grandparents even end up raising grandchildren (when parents are absent). We uphold values, and we still want to see them realized....

Thanks to the rabbi and his mom for a thoughtful grandparents' day, and to the teachers and kids for making it so much darn fun.

And to Ezra for his impeccable honesty. "School make me kinda nervous," he whispered, when I first sat down with him. That's something this grandma remembers feeling years ago, too....talk about a bond.



Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Oy vey. I'm so verklempt.

My grandson turned 3 last weekend. The event brought out my parents, good friends--the whole famdamily.

For a few hours, we forgot that we'd been cross with one another earlier in the week. Or the busted hot water heater. Or the furnace that, well...may be a grandparent itself.

There was a difficult divorce in the room, but all acted like carefree adults. In Mickey Mouse hats no less.

Aunts and uncles and cousins in the same room--with varying difficulties, challenges, opportunities--and one common purpose:

Watching a 3-year-old blow out a candle.

That little crumb muncher makes my aging parents light up. His energy is boundless. He remembers to say "thank you" for every gift--we taught his mother well.

Remember--you have to learn how to hate, how to misbehave, how to insult folks, how to discriminate against folks who aren't like you. Three--year-olds are unconditonal lovers. And walking BS meters. I don't know when the crap kicks in--I'm new at this grandparent thing. I'm hoping never, but....

I walked in depressed about winter, my taxes and business being so-so. Walked out with a lift in my step.

Beat that with a stick.

This kinda love, they oughta bottle it and send it around the globe.

(I'll send you pix later, dear Ruthie)

2011-02-17 10:23:38

hendy [Member] said:

I have so far escaped grandparenthood, but revere my own. As I went thru some of my antecedent's stuff during a move yesterday, I was reminded of how we seem to be fighting the same battles, over and over again. Then the jolt of memories.

When my maternal grandfather would go buy St Joan of Arc, he would always tip his hat, and made sure that I noticed. The other grandfather was a notorious critic of other drivers on the road, using choice and very specific language regarding the dubious qualities of those drivers, and at what department store they'd obviously obtained their drivers licenses. Both had their upsides and down, but I lost them within two weeks of each others. And they're sorely missed.

2011-02-17 11:35:40

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