Feeling overwhelmed with gratitude by the amount of people that shared with us in our gratitude today. Many people asked for a copy of Renana's speech on our behalf
What a year it has been. Even though this was something that our immediate and extended family have been going through. We have never felt alone as we have had the tremendous support from this community the whole way through.
We are overwhelmed by Lital’s middle name – gila or joy, to be here celebrating Lital’s health. I want to take this opportunity to learn a short Mishnah together (Avot 5:10):
[Rabbi Yochanan] said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire. Said Rabbi Eliezer: A good eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: A good friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: A good neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To see what is born [out of one’s actions]. Said Rabbi Elazar: A good heart. Said He to them: I prefer the words of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours.
These are some of the best traits we can acquire – so let’s consider each one:
1) Ayin Tova – A good eye – the eye is the part of our body with which we perceive the world. We see according to the light waves that are reflected through the lens of our eyes and it is without doubt the light, positivity and perspective, that our family have brought, that has allowed us to maintain an ayin tova.
a. Debbie and Geoff, Rachel and Brad, Gabi and Eitan – your endless devotion is beyond anything I have ever seen. You have brought new meaning to the words unconditional love and I truly love our relationship. I cannot tell you how glad I am that the formative years of our children’s lives was spent with you and the bonds that you have formed will be there for life.
b. Mommy and abba, Tzippy and Jason, Chana and Richard, Avishai and Danielle, Jon Jon and Lior – it’s been hard not having you around us. But when you dropped everything to come at different times to support us, it showed me that no distance can ever get in the way of our special bonds and even when you were not here physically, we always felt your support as if you were right by our side.
c. Yehuda and Shayna – you are the best big siblings Lital could ever ask for. You have had to go through more than most children have had to go through at your age and we are so proud of you for your love and understanding, continuing to grow as such incredible individuals as you make our family complete.
d. Benji, there is no one else I would have wanted by my side during this whole episode. You have allowed me to lean on you when things got too overwhelming and you have always been there show all of us the ayin tova in all of this. I am blessed to have you as my husband and of course the father of our 3 beautiful children.
2) Chaver tov – A good friend – this period has made us realize how lucky we are to have such wonderful friends around the world. chaver comes from the word chibur – connection. Our connections with one another and sense of friendship is usually tested at times like this and with so many of our friends it has only strengthened, reminding us how lucky we are to be so connected.
3) Shachen tov – A good neighbor – before we moved here Benji always told me about the Sydney Jewish community. But never did I understand how special this community truly is. Wow. To walk around the school, shules or street and have every second person ask about Lital with such genuine care and concern or cry tears of happiness when they see her out and about, makes me realize why this is one of the most special communities.
4) Haroe et hanolad – To see what is born [out of one’s actions] –this can be interpreted in 2 ways.
a. The first is the ability to appreciate what is going to happen next. Birth is painful, but it brings life into this world. And while we went through pain – it was side by side with our family, friends and community and therefore we were never truly alone and able to experience the elation of what we are celebrating today.
b. The second, is the ability to appreciate what is going to happen next, meaning to anticipate what is going to be and therefore what is going to needed. We had people bringing over gifts to help our kids feel special. Meals were taken care of, baskets of fruit and vegetables. This was you guys anticipating the things we needed at a time that were not able to anticipate ourselves. So many signed up for www.hods.org to be organ donors and tens of thousands of dollars was raised for this important cause, extending this to anticipate the needs of others.
In one foul swoop, our family provided an ayin tova with such a positive perspective, we had good friends and good neighbors in the form of our community, all who came together as one to anticipate and support us.
5) Lev tov – The final trait, a good heart, is something that I have learnt from Lital herself. Rebbe yochanan likes this answer the best because he says if you have a good heart you automatically have all those other qualities.
One moment that sticks out in my mind was in the hospital after her transplant, one of the nurses came into Lital’s room to perform some tests. While the nurse poked and prodded Lital – she cried and screamed but when it was all over, she looked up at the nurse giving her that gorgeous signature smile. The nurse smiled too, looked over at me and said, ‘Lital is the most forgiving baby I have ever met.’
These have been trying times and while we have a strong relationship with Hashem, many times, I was definitely left wondering why. Why Hashem have you made such a young innocent baby go through this torture. Feeling so unwell within herself, needing test after test, not tolerating food, vomiting and having endless medication. Why do Shayna and Yehuda need to compete for their parent’s attention, scared to wake up in the middle of the night to find that we have had to rush back to the hospital for who know how long. Why do we all need to have our lives thrown completely out of control. But then I go back to Lital and her gorgeous smile.
Everyone that has spent time with Lital knows that she is one of the most enthusiastic and happy babies I have ever met. Even with everything she has gone through she is still able to be positive, smile and enjoy the good moments. It is as if, in her short time here, she has already gained a wisdom to appreciate and make the most of the gift that is life.
Although I don’t have answers to my questions of Why Lital has taught me to enjoy the wonderful things life has to offer. She has brought so much love and joy into our lives. She has taught us to smile even during the tough times, to cherish family and community and to appreciate life in ways I never thought possible.
Lital has done so much good in her short life without having any knowledge she is doing it. Most people take a lifetime to teach about life – Lital started from day one. For all that she has given and taught us through this experience I am forever grateful. I am grateful to all our family who have been there every step of the way, grateful to all of you for all your friendships and support and grateful to Hashem, the surgeons, doctors, nurses, Lital’s organ donor and his entire family, who saved our babies life making it possible for us to celebrate today.