Wow, what a read, what a book, what a woman. Boy do I feel small and worthless in comparison!!
A couple of things that this book has taught me:
1. Sara Yocheved Rigler is a very insightful woman and is definitely someone I will watch out for in the future. I have already ordered several of her other publications and have taken the time to listen to some of her talks on line (torahanytime.com) and to read some of her contribution to the AISH.com website. She has amazing insight and in my short exposure to her writing I feel as though I have learned a great many things.
2. Rebbetzin Kramer was one hell of a woman. Seriously. I don’t think I can imagine someone being so humble and giving and generous, living without so much and feeling so blessed all at the same time. It’s beyond me. On one level reading about this incredible woman (holocaust survivor, barren, poor) made me feel quite selfish and uncaring. I definitely don’t give enough – of myself, of my money, my time. Who does? From Rigler’s perspective, Rebbetzin Kramer did!
But, at the same time I learned that every small thing that you do to help someone else is priceless. Rebbetzin Kramer lived her life so wholly to make other people grow and feel worthy that she shone, despite her poverty and the various sorrows that her life brought to her. She did it with grace and faith, with commitment and love. No act of charity or kindness was beyond her or too trivial and she prided herself in knowing that she made even a slight difference in the lives of the people that she helped.
I am never going to be a Rebbetzin Kramer, not even close. I don’t see myself fostering a troop of mentally challenged children who need full time care. I don’t see myself going without even the most basic amenities (like electricity and running water) in order to provide for someone else. I can’t imagine that I would be satisfied with my husband travelling for months at a time to raise thousands of dollars to help those less fortunate (who could possibly be less fortunate?).
But, what I can do, is realise the value of perspective. Rebbetzin Kramer didn’t see herself as lacking or going without. She saw herself as blessed because she could help so many people in so many different ways. It is this that we should all strive to emulate – the ability to appreciate that even the most simply of things can transform another’s life.
So, take the time to smile at a stranger, to stop and wonder at all that we have even though there might be so much more that we want. This is the lesson that Rebbetzin Kramer brings us.