Why Bother, Chanie?

[This was written in response to someone who on one of those grey days asked the age-old question of, “why bother”.  Am re-posting it this week because one of the things made in this week’s Parsha was the Keeyor – the copper wash basin that stood right outside of the Holies.  This was made out of the mirrors of the women who had lived through the hells of Egypt and kept their beautification rituals despite the bleakness…and kept our nation alive through that!]


There are days that get you down,

Threaten your devotion.

Determination fights reality.

Why bother?

Why care?

Long before the Jews became a nation, they were forced to work unbearably hard as slaves in Egypt.  With taskmasters standing guard, no time was left for philosophical deliberations, no spirit left for firm determinations.

 One day worse news was announced:  Every Jewish boy born would be thrown into the river.  Horror of horrors.  Can one get married under such circumstances – bring new life into a world so chaotic?

 For that matter, can one remain married?  Marriage –a dream of the past when two people merged into one dream of a future.  Now, that future was gone.  No dream lived on.

Why bother?

Husbands divorced wives, all Shidduchim ceased…and a nation despaired.

“No, Abba, no,” said one little girl.  “We have no right not to care, no right to despair.  It might be hard, but we must do our share.”

Her eyes flashed fire, her soul ablaze, and she lit up the world as her words took hold…and people cared and married.

Still it was hard.  Bone-weary tired, aching, when can two become one?  The men would come home, heads bowed low, and the women would silently look on…despair begets despair.  Those brave women raised heads high and declared, “we will care, for the future is dependent on our caring.”  They put on their Shabbos best, work-worn hands held their mirrors as they prettied themselves, erased the gloom of the day, smiled back at their glow.  Each hummed a song as she set a table for her king, then went to greet him, to share a glow with him.

 And because they bothered, a nation was born.

 If the saxophone player would not take a deep breath,

from where would beautiful music come?

If the tailor did not care,

no style would exist.

If the artist slapped paint here and there,

not bothering to painstakingly craft his scene,

there would be no masterpiece.

If the writer of these lines

would not have cared,

would the sentences flow, making a thought appear?

If we don’t bother, Chanie, no sonata exists

no masterpiece emerges

and no meaning is clear.

More dangerously,

if we don’t bother, Chanie,

what are we to hand to our children?

 Bother then, Chanie,

put the care in your life

for it is the ultimate masterpiece.


Careful now,

the music of the future

the ending of the poem

the mural of the world

your children

and their children

and the children after them

are too valuable

not to care.



About jewishspectacles

Jewish Spectacles-the kind you look through, not the kind you create!
This entry was posted in Jewish Thought, Unique Role in Serving G-d and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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