On Being a Dad not afraid to cry

Yesterday, I went to the funeral of  one of my Jewish heroes, Zev Wolfson.  His accomplishments are immense in all areas of Jewish life especially in reaching out to our unaffiliated brothers and sisters.  I’m not exaggerating when I say he is probably the most important supporter of informal Jewish education of the past century.  All that being said, the one thing that most impressed me was when his son Aaron talked about how he was sent away to Yeshiva and did not want to leave home.  A lot was going on his life at the time and he said his father probably felt he needed a little toughening up.  When he got there, he ended up in the Mashgiach’s office crying when the phone rang and it was his father.  The Mashgiach had him keep quiet as he father proceeded to express his concern over the hard time his son was going through and made sure he received the attention and warmth he needed.  Aaron gave this as an example of how his father went the extra distance to make sure each of his kids had exactly what they needed and the love and emotion towards his children was a recurring theme as each child spoke.

Later that afternoon, I found myself at the airport saying good bye to my son Avromie as he leaves to study in Israel for a year.  Avromie has been very nervous about this new step in his life and we have pushed very hard to make sure he is in the best place for him.  As I got closer and closer to the airport my stomach started doing somersaults.  When I finally got there, I took Avromie aside and I shared with him all the sage advice that I had been given when I left to Israel to study in Yeshiva.  My year in Israel was a life shaping experience for me and I started to cry as I kissed him good bye.  All night I continued to be nauseous and could not function (today I am back at full speed, don’t worry).  A friend asked me if I’m pregnant.  My brother in law called me some other non manly words.  But I’m proud to say that just like Zev Wolfson of blessed memory I am not afraid to do what is right for my children even when it appears tough and at the same time let them see how much I care for them.