Posted in Stories from the Nursing Home

On Marriage and Clothing: From the Nursing Home

Today my day started with a converstaion with one of the women (She is in her late 90’s, came to Israel in the 30’s. Worked in agriculture and in a bank, taught meditation. Made a decision when she was young to never get married nor have any kids.) at the nursing home. Just after saying goodmorning, she says:
W: Good morning rebbetzin. You are not made to be a rebbetzin…
me: Why not?
W:You just aren’t the right personality for it. It just not your personality. {she askes the woman next to her if she agrees, but the woman started talking about my water bottle- and so we burst out laughing.}
me: What should I do instead?
W: Be an actress, that would suit you. And/or a wife. You need to give a lot of comfort as a wife, and you are good at that. Also, you need to be a good actress to be a wife…
From this we had a long conversation at the table about what I should do with my life and ideas of marriage vs. independence.


A conversation with one of the men (who was a very religious pulpit rabbi when he was younger, people still come to him as their rabbi, even though he has dementia):
Man: I notice that you wear something different every day.
Me: Is that a problem?
Man: No on the contrary…
Me: Don’t most people change what they wear every day?
Man: Women do, men don’t.
Me: Well, I am a woman
Man: You are, aren’t you (with a smile)
This then went onto a conversation about men’s and women’s clothing in history. I think to myself that it is great that the residents are actually paying attention to something.



I'm not always the greatest at sharing what is in my head. Here is a place that I am experimenting with sharing my ideas and thoughts. They are about my life, my experiences in becoming a rabbi, things that I see going on around me, and sometimes words of Torah.

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