Baby, Exile, and Redemption
My baby was born small and early. He’s in the hospital until he gains enough weight to go home. It’s difficult, I’m not going to deny it. I come to the hospital in the morning and leave in the evening. It’s exhausting. It’s like the hospital walls suck up all your energy so that you leave completely drained.
This has been a learning experience in many different ways. For one I now understand what it means to be awaiting the coming of Moshiach.
I wake up in the morning and think: Maybe today, maybe by some miracle he gained enough weight overnight and can come home today. I come to the hospital, put my stuff down, and anxiously ask the nurse,
“How much does he weigh?”
She smiles and tells me. He’s gained a significant amount since yesterday.
“He’s gaining really nicely,” she tells me.
I thank her happy that he’s gaining but at the same time I feel disappointment. He’s not coming home today. Another long day in the hospital. And then a seed of hope pushes forward. Maybe tomorrow. He’s so close to his discharge weight, maybe he’ll come home tomorrow. My faith is restored. He will come home, and soon. I know he will.
I go over to his crib to wish him good morning and feed him.
This scene repeats itself daily. I re-experience those emotions every day. The anxiety, hope, disappointment and then again the inexplicable hope.
Moshiach is coming. Possibly today. Maybe tomorrow. But he will come. I know he will.
On the same theme of redemption this experience has taught me what Golus means and the pitfalls of Golus.
I wake up in the morning and pack up to go. I have a bag full of food, a cooler with milk I pumped during the night, and some entertainment to pass the long hours in the hospital. I grab my stuff and hurry out the door to make it on time for his morning feeding.
This is exile. I’m forced to leave my comfortable environment and go out to a strange place. A place where other people are in charge and there is a whole new set of rules. It’s not my place; this is not where I belong.
But then it becomes routine. Rush out the door at nine thirty, come home at two for a much needed nap, and return at six thirty for the evening feed.
Repeat every day. It’s not so strange anymore. I have my spot, the chair behind the curtain to give me some privacy. I know the nurses; they know me. It has become regular.
This is the pitfall of exile. I’ve forgotten it’s exile. I’ve forgotten that this isn’t the way things are meant to be. I can’t forget because then I become complacent. No. I want my baby home. That’s where both of us are meant to be.
Golus. We become complacent forgetting that this is exile, this isn’t where we belong. Hashem, enough. We want to go home.