Ki Yachol Nuchal!

New olah; mom and wife. In small ways, every day, trying to rectify the error in judgement of my zaydies, the meraglim. "See these big grapes? We can make really big wine!"

Opting Out of Mom’s Day

Posted by rutimizrachi on 09/05/2009

Yom rishon, 16 Iyar 5769.

For the past week or so, The Dearly Beloved has been asking me, “When is Mother’s Day, anyway?”  I keep telling him that “ain li musag” — I have no idea.  My calendar has been an Israeli one for the last three years; and it doesn’t list Mother’s Day.

It is not a holiday I ever cared for.

My sons — G-d love ’em — are seriously Mother’s Day challenged.  They don’t fight much, baruch Hashem.  In fact, I would say that they are each others’ best friends.  But on Mother’s Day, bitter, acrimonious fights are liable to break out.  They are moderately obedient children (“obedient” and “Israeli” being somewhat antithetical).  However, on Mother’s Day, they can become nearly criminal.

Oh, don’t think I haven’t received all of those “love letters” their teachers made them bring home, with the lovely Crayola flower outlined in teacher’s-aide-applied glitter.  But I finally had to tell them I would leave home the next time I received a letter that began with Dear Ema I’m sorry for all the bad things I done to you.

After my dear Mama left this world, I decided to give my kids a well-deserved break.  We suspended our observance of the holiday entirely.  Their father became aware of a certain justice in the world.  After all, Father’s Day falls in June, usually after elementary schools have subsided from filling their young charges’ time with meaningful arts and crafts.  Dads got a raw deal for years, as there are many interesting things to do during the summer besides making a card for Father.  Dads, being less likely to start blubbering as you hand them your tender art work, aren’t as much fun, anyway.  Useful for having a catch, but not as fun for the emotional manipulation game.  (“Hey, Ema, will you read Love You Forever to me and my friends?  [Soto voce:]  Hey, guys, watch this.  She can’t get all the way to the end without bawling her eyes out.  It’s a riot!”)
(There’s a stack of these for sale at M. Pomeranz Bookseller in Yerushalayim, for the locals.)

Back to my Mama, a”h.  She loved Mother’s Day.  She loved the attention and the presents and the flowers and the burned breakfast in bed.  I see by remarks on the internet that the day must be getting close.  So for Mama, and for other mamas who might be more like her than her daughter, I offer some pretty things that would have made her smile.

Happy Mother’s Day, Old Thing.  I was just missing you a little today.

Okay, in fairness, I possess a lovely box of boy-made cards that still bring a tear to my eye.  I think “Ema, you the man! — well, sort of” is one of my favorites.  But let’s not tell them.  It will be our secret.

9 Responses to “Opting Out of Mom’s Day”

  1. Rona Michelson said

    That was lovely!

  2. rickismom said


  3. Miryam said

    Thanks, Ruti! My sentiments too. But I wish I could tell my mom how much she still means to me. She and Dear M-I-L passed on the same day in Dec.’02. Still hurts.
    And now to teach the next generation …. (of course this is more of a “hallmark” pseudo-holiday, but it’s still nice to take the time to remember the wonderful woman who gave you life.

  4. michael said

    very beautiful post ema. happy moms day whenever it is(my teacher should be sending something in the mail). you have very a wonderful job raising us thanks! this a wonderful blog. you should continue to inspire our wayward jews to come on home, for many happy and healthy forgotten mothers days! Amen!

  5. Anonymous said

    Dear Ruti: I agree with you. When my mom was alive, we celebrated Mother’s Day–she enjoyed it and I always made her favorite cake, chocolate with coffee buttercream.
    Since her passing, I just don’t have the enthusiasm for Mother’s Day. My
    hubby always told the children: in
    Judaism, every day is Mother’s Day because we are supposed to honor our parents every day. I’m not sure my children bought that, but
    I’m still OK with not keeping mom’s
    day. By the way, my older daughter called me today to say
    “I love you, mom, even if we don’t
    celebrate MOther’s day.” You can’t do better than that; and no
    holiday will bring back my mom who
    I miss every single day.
    Luv, succah schiffman

  6. Hillel Levin said

    Hey Sis,

    Chava reminded me that I needed to call Mom in Har Nof, California.

    She was pleased to hear from me. Fact is, everytime I call her is mother’s day and she is always pleased when I call her.

    Chava called too and CYL also spoke with her.

    Lovely flowers, ain’t life grand here, seeing all these wonderful flowers growing in our yards in Yehudah and Shomron.

    Bro Hillel

  7. Judy Schnidman said


    Wow, thank you for the beautiful thoughts and pictures. I spent Mother’s Day doing something I wanted to do: planting a vegetable and herb garden in the front yard. I let the kids off the hook for any mushy stuff, but Shonny borrowed the car (SHE GOT HER LICENSE!) and on the way back “had to stop at the drugstore for something”, and brought back a card which she got all the kids to sign. Love the baby pics too!!

  8. Sharri said

    My Yeshiva son in Israel sent the following text: "Mom, I'm smiling cause you're my mother; I'm laughing, cause there's nothing you can do about it!" I'm a sucker for Mom's day ever since my oldest child was born the night before. Since moving 8 years ago, I missed my lilac bush at my old house that was planted in honor of a Mother's day many years ago – this year my husband planed a new one to enjpy right under the kitchen window. It's just a great excuse to finally do things like that you may be meaning to do. I'm so blessed to have my mom and mother in law and I know those cards & calls better be on time- it makes their day; even though we speak all the time!

  9. rutimizrachi said

    Rona & Rickismom: Thank you!

    Miryam: I know. The hurt must be counted in Shomayim in their bank accounts of merit. They mattered; and that we miss them is a daily point in their favor.

    Michael: You know better than anyone what an aim habanim smeicha I am! Thank you for your words of encouragement, dear son… and for all those cards in my collection. 😉

    Succah: You're right, dear friend. You can't do better than that.

    Hillel: Did you say hi to Mom for me, Bro? 😉

    Judy: Shonny is DRIVING??? Where did the time go? And she has the sensitivity to remember to bring you a little something. I think you are doing okay. 🙂

    Sharri: You are surrounded by brachot, from your son to his two dear grandmothers. May your blessings continue to blossom, for many long years, in good health!

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