Monday, May 05, 2008


With Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, almost upon us, and with my electronic mailbox filled with loving and not-so-subtle reminders that Mother’s Day is also approaching, I’d like to share a few images from a little trip I made recently to the north.

The tomb of the matriarchs—or one of them—is located in Tiberius.

Some traditions believe it houses the remains of Yocheved, the mother of Moses, as well as Moses’s wife Zipporah; Bilah and Zilpah (who bore Jacob’s children), Aaron’s wife, Elisheva, and Avigail, one of King David’s wives.

Here is the view of the Kinneret from the tomb

Regardless of where their bodies actually lie, obviously, Israel would not exist without its Imas and the sacrifices they made to give birth and make sure their children lived.

We are always aware of the doubts and questions that the Abbas experienced—Moses’s reticence and insecurity in dealing with Pharoh, David’s impulses and regrets, Jacob’s struggles. But we are only left to speculate how Yocheved felt when she placed Moses in his basket, how Zipporah felt to leave her native land and follow her husband.

I’ve been thinking of it a lot recently—how we, as mothers, often suppress our fears and insecurities in order to allow our children experience the world as a place of wonder and delight, where G-d’s presence is felt everywhere, even in the midst of pain and uncertainty. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I think. The history of Israel has shown us that, with the help of G-d, a powerful belief in our abilities can allow us to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. For all of its imperfections, Israel is that reminder.

So in keeping with the spirit of joy and wonder, my daughter and I splashed around in the Kinneret, at the feet of the matriarchs. It was wonderful.

On another note, whoever would like to help bring a little joy to less fortunate mothers who bravely struggling to leave abusive situations so that they can give their children a future, consider donating to the Mother’s Day Flower Project. It’s a small gesture in the face of a big problem, but it’s still important.

1 comment:

Maya said...

signing in