Day 27 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Blog/Remember – There is always something to be grateful for.

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Today is still a hard day.





I saw this video this morning and rejoiced. I am not the only one. I am proud of my heritage, my family, my values.  I will not be frightened away by the worst of society. I will move forward.

Today is Halloween. Today children all over the US will go door to door asking for treats. I have fond memories of taking my daughters trick or treating. I loved to make their costumes when they were little. I am grateful that they liked the finished product. Halloween is a fun holiday where we  do silly things. I long for silly days instead of sad days.

Today as parents take their little ones door to door I hope they are grateful for the gifts of freedom that we have. We are free to celebrate. We are free to enjoy our neighborhoods. We must slowly move forward without forgetting the tragedies around the world but knowing that gratefully there is more good than evil.


Day 26 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Blog/Mourning/Moving Forward – There is always something to be grateful for.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar’

Today I am grateful that I am moving forward one step. One step that means I have not forgotten but also cannot remain in the space I was Saturday. Yesterday my spouse and I decided to go out for an early dinner. Neither of us felt like cooking so an early dinner means less cologne laden people, less crowds, and less waiting. As we are both wearing our kippot we wondered if people’s reactions would be noticeable. Sadly they were. The waiter was gruff and treated us differently than his other patrons. I purposely tried to be extra thankful to him but it fell on deaf ears. On the other hand the two other tables near us had smiles for us as they walked past our table upon leaving. We also noticed that after serving us the hostess attended to our needs instead of  our waiter. There were only four occupied tables in the entire restaurant. It was hard not to notice his absence. At least the hostess was kind and accommodating.               

That being said I needed to discuss a few matters with my students today. I notified them that they did not need backpacks at school tomorrow as the entire half day was scheduled with fun Halloween activities. Cheers were heard by all. The second item had to do with personal cleanliness and the lack there of. I shall spare you the discussion, but it was one they needed to hear. The third topic was to answer the many questions by my students about my crocheted yarmulke. As I have never in my 35 years of teaching in public school worn a kippah to school. My spouse and I had discussed wearing ours and as stated earlier in solidarity and grief for the victims. We are wearing ours for the mourning period. I explained that if they were not aware, I am Jewish. I told them why I was wearing my kippah and what it meant to me. I was careful to just say Saturday’s tragedy in case they were not aware of what happened.  In this time of people not recognizing or caring about the pain others are going through, I took advantage of a teachable moment.

There are currently so many angry posts on Facebook. It is almost all negative and sad. I try to remember my circle of influence. I try to focus on the things I have control over. I am grateful I can respect and mourn for the people who lost their lives. I can show respect for them and all people regardless of  their religion, ethnicity, or beliefs. I am grateful I choose to be kind and I hope others use their gratitude for their freedom and make their choices known. I move forward with gratitude.

Day 25 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Blog/Pride/Loss – There is always something to be grateful for.

I am still in recovery mode, but I have the luxury of not being a victim today. I am grateful that while some of our nation’s leaders spew hatred for anyone not of their same majority, I can express my identity openly. I consider myself a spiritual/cultural Jew. While I typically only wear my kippah at home on the Jewish holidays, today and for the next 5 days I shall wear it. I am grateful that today and for the days that follow I shall proudly wear my kippah to show my solidarity with the victims in Pittsburgh. I shall flaunt my religion and my love of my people. I am grateful I have the choice of my religious affiliation.   

I am grateful that for another day I have life. Those innocent people don’t have today or tomorrow. Today I am able to go to work at a job I love. I am grateful that I get to teach these children of many nationalities, religions, and ethnicities. These kids are “my students.” They are all equal to me. Why are we not all equal to our leaders? Why do people choose hatred over love or at least tolerance? 

Every student in our school has loved ones who entrust them to our staff. The students come to class hopefully feeling safe. Sadly because  of the current state of the country we now have three different levels of lock-down drills. Our doors have special locks to help us speed up the process. We teachers are being trained to run, hide, or fight.  It raises the stress level of all of us. Times have changed and not for the better.

Those whose lives were cut down due to hatred have many loved ones suffering for their loss. They are being told it is the synagogues fault for not hiring armed security. What are we teaching our citizens when we tell them to have armed guards at every turn? Kind people who for absolutely no rational reason will never again come together with their families to share  what should be the most spiritual and precious of times. I am grateful that I have my family, my friends, my co-workers,  and my students in my life. Eleven people through no fault of their own have lost everything. All their families, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances have been deprived of their presence. I am grateful for my breaths and I am sad for the loss. 

Out of respect: Those killed were Daniel Stein, 71; Joyce Feinberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal 54; husband and wife Bernice Simon, 84 and Sylvan Simon, 86; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.

How do we talk to kids?



Day 24 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Blog/Sadness – There is always something to be grateful for, but today I am just sad.

I am still reeling from yesterday’s tragedy.  I am not OK with the hatred and violence. 

 Now today on a personal note I will no longer be a part of something I love. Circumstances change and I need to take care of me.    I am in tears for my personal loss and I feel ashamed for it when what is happening in the world is so dire. 

So today I am grateful I am alive and that I have people that care about me.

Day 23 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Blog/Sad News – There is always something to be grateful for, but today I hurt.

I started my blog eight hours ago. I was on a roll. I was looking forward to spending much of the day with my aunt. She will be 93 years old next month and I am grateful she is in my life.

Then I saw the horrific news. My spouse and I decided not to talk about the news with her. I know she gets the newspaper but is weeks behind in reading it. No need to spoil her day with the tragedy. I saw the horrible news when reading Facebook. I read the viewpoint of Blue Lives Matter, from the viewpoint of BuzzFeed News, and then the site I respect the most

The idea that a madman destroyed a family’s bris because of such misguided hatred saddens me to my core. Today I have much more grief, tears, and anguish than gratitude. Today I mourn for the victims and their families. Today I mourn for common decency. Today I mourn for the lack of sanity of way too many people.