I write just a few hours before Rosh Hashana.
I write with overwhelming gratitude in my heart for a wonderful life.
I live in a land that glows with your holiness, a land where my ancestors once lived.
And I am privileged to be part of a movement that seeks to rebuild this amazing land and maybe in my own small way, I have contributed to this rebirth. And I am thankful.
I am privileged to have a job that is more than just a paycheck, a job where I can feel that I am helping defend my country from her enemies. And I am thankful.
I am privileged that I can still run farther than most people drive and compete in races at an age where most people think that getting the mail is exercise. And I am thankful.
I am privileged to have so many friends that I can count on when the chips are down without question. And I am thankful.
Of course I am thankful that I have four wonderful children. I watch them growing up and relish each accomplishment. From Dvrei Torah to sacks and touchdowns, each one in their own way shows me how special they are and how much potential they have.
But most of all, I am thankful that you brought me and Stella together so many years ago. In twenty-six years, we have journeyed very far in so many ways. From hockey games to Grateful Dead concerts to building sukahs and Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations, we have had a diverse range of experiences. And through good times and challenging times, we have been together and if anything, we have grown closer every year that passes.
And so, I feel that I have led an amazing life, and that I should thank you for allowing me to live out my dreams — whether its running marathons, defending Israel from her enemies, or just sitting back and admiring the view of the Holy Land from this hilltop village we call Neve Daniel.
But as the holiest time of the year gets closer — a time when Jewish tradition says that you are most attentive to our prayers, I have a request to make.
I want more.
I want you to take this sickness away from my wife.
Because as happy as I have been, I could not imagine life without her.
It is the dark thought that lives in my head now.
But it’s not just about me, and what I want.
It’s not just my request.
From Syracuse to Colgate to Potomac to Neve Daniel, there are countless people who have experienced Stella’s kindness. Her selfless devotion to everyone she comes in contact with is just what the world needs. For all those she has comforted — from the elderly looking for a friend to share their stories with to the young looking for a hug and a smile — the world needs Stella.
But even more than that — our children need their mother.
They need to have the unconditional love and belief that they can really accomplish anything that comes from their Japanese Jewish mother. If strangers benefit from her kindness, they depend on it even more.
They need her smile as much as her sushi.
But forget what I said earlier — maybe it does come back to me.
I need Stella as much as I need the air I breathe and the food I eat. I would give away everything I have ever valued if it would make her better.
Every step I have run, ever kilometer I have biked, everything I have ever been proud of means nothing to me without Stella. I would give them all back in a moment in exchange for her health.
I know that there are things way beyond my comprehension. I don’t have the remotest clue how an iPad works so it’s no surprise that I can’t understand why bad things happen to good people, to amazing people, to my person.
But I also know that you are listening.
You listen to my prayers and to those springing forth from around the world. From Australia to Ireland to Potomac, and, of course, from right here in your special land, you are hearing the prayers — the cries of a mass of people.
So I am begging you. Out of your compassion for so many people, grant her a cure.
Whatever ultimate reason there is for her condition — and I am not doubting that you have a reason that I could never in a million years understand — I have a more important reason why her condition needs to be reversed.
The world needs more love and kindness and compassion that is Stella’s very being.
So this is just my plea.
But we will talk more about it soon.
If you really desire tears at Rosh Hashana, you are about to get a flood.
Let the New Year be loaded with health and happiness for us and all your people