Monthly Archives: April 2010

I’m not a rabbi, but I play one in my blog

Smashing the Glass

After reading my blog, some friends have been telling me, reassuring me, that I don’t have to feel guilty about doing Ride the Rockies. People play golf, run marathons and take vacations. I shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a trip with my husband. Believe me, I don’t feel guilty. I swear. The fact, that my mom generously takes my boys without question, condition, fail or guilt makes it VERY easy for me to leave town!

And the kids aren’t complaining. Because unlike their mother, their grandmother is incapable of saying “No.” SO no worries on the guilt, ok?

I think it’s more about Jewish weddings. Let me explain.

I’m not religious. I’m not spiritual. I’m not observant except for holidays, and I have a plethora of issues with God. I do, however, have a solid ethnic/cultural Jewish identity, and raising money for LiveStrong really fits in nicely with the concept of Tzedakah or Tikun Olam.

Tzedakah literally means “justice.” It’s the word people use for charity but by combining charity with justice you get the true meaning of Tzedakah. If you empower someone by giving them a donation or helping hand, hopefully that charitable act will empower that person into rising up and helping themselves and others. A pay it forward kinda thing.

Tikkun Olam (I’m not a rabbi here folks, it’s like I said in post 2, I think waaaay too much) Tikun Olam literally means “heal the world.” So in our own little ways we should all try to do something nice or right because somewhere down the line, dare I say karma? We can hopefully repair what is broken.

So smashing the glass…

Even with something that is a incredibly positive experience, one should remember things that aren’t so joyous. When a Jewish couple gets married, the ceremony doesn’t end until the groom smashes a small glass wrapped in cloth after he kisses the bride. It’s a very well known tradition.

Jews smash the glass:

  1. to remember the destruction of the first Temple
  2. to remind us of those who are not here to celebrate
  3. to remind us that while we are joyous, not everywhere in the world is

It forces you for a brief moment, in all the elation of the moment, to keep some perspective.

So raising money for LiveStrong isn’t because I feel guilty. It’s to remind myself while I’m on vacation flying down a mountain at 45 mph, praying for an uneventful return to the bottom, I should also remind myself at some point, to keep perspective and remember that there are folks unable to climb mountains on their bikes. And raise awareness that they may have mountains to attack left in them.

That’s it.

Advertisements

I brood. I dwell. I obsess.

I think too much.

So lately, I’ve been dwelling on my upcoming trip to Colorado to participate in the Ride The Rockies bike tour this June. I’m obsessing over weight loss, training, my fear of camping, among other trivial things, until I wake up in the middle of the night wondering what the fuck my problem was.

Because I am a lucky woman. I have a nice house, a wonderful husband, two great boys. What do I have to stress over? Nothing. I have my health, my family, my friends. Shame on me.

In mid-January, spinning on my trainer, I decided I should use my trip as a way to give something back. But where? And how?

Twitter of course! I will shamelessly promote my good deeds to my followers and harass and berate them if they don’t follow through. I will even annoy the Facebook Friends, especially those who clutter my news feed with Bejeweled Blitz or Farmville. Yes! I will become a social networking maven and raise a boat load of cash to……..

To what cause?

Where?

Why would people want to help me raise money while I’m riding my bike up and down the Colorado Rockies? Where would people, in this difficult economic time, be willing to donate their hard earned bucks? Where could I cross political, religious, socio-economic lines and promote something that would involve us all as humans?

I’ll tell you where.

Cancer.

I have more experience with cancer than I would prefer. My good friend died of breast cancer three years ago at 40. She left a devastated husband and 4 kids, 13, 10, 7 and 6. This was a woman in the throws of motherhood, dedicating her life around those who needed her most, and she was robbed. And so were they.

Her 10 year old, at the time, was and is one of my son’s very good friends. In fact, 3 of my boy’s good friends, THREE of their mothers had breast cancer. One year, while all 4 boys were enrolled in a computer class, my good friend Debby pointed it out that MY son was the only one of these four 10 year old boys, who’s mother did not ever have cancer.

The chill resides in my spine.

So yes, I’ve seen the devastation, but I’ve also attended Debby’s 5 and 10 year cancer free parties. I’ve seen the outcome on both ends.

Three years ago, I walked in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk with my other friend, a survivor. It was heart breaking and heart warming to see my friends walk together to try to end this brutal disease.

Unfortunately, cancer is still here.

And that is unacceptable.

So I ride my bike in honor of these women and friends. It seems fitting to be riding my bike for this organization because no one has done a better job of promoting cancer awareness and raising money for a cure than that guy from Austin, Texas who wears a lot of yellow and rides a bike.

I wish I could say, “That’s it. I’m done.” Sorry.

A founding member and cycling leader of my cycling club has cancer. He was diagnosed in February. Although I don’t know him well, I know his daughter. She’s a great gal and fantastic cyclist. So while I ride to honor my friends and help Mr. Armstrong with his cause, I also ride with the hopes that Mr. Hatch will be back next year in Colorado with his daughter Bailey.

I just created a fundraiser account with LiveStrong. If you wouldn’t mind clicking on the link to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and help me raise money for cancer awareness, education and support, I’d really appreciate it.

That’s it.