This is the lullaby that Mrs. Ramis would hum for me.
Ever since I have had MS, I stumble and fumble quite a bit. Dinner times are especially painful, because I tend to drop dishes and silver, and my food often falls from my plate or mouth. (Fortunately, Minnie is like a vacuum cleaner!) My shirt comes away stained. I have contemplated wearing a bib.
Linda is very tolerant, but she no longer lets me clear the plates and wash the dishes. I have occasionally suggested that she get me a wooden bowl and a snack tray off of which I could eat with little disturbance. Lovingly, she laughs a bit and then says “God forbid!” I do believe her and love her to heaven and back.
But, I cannot forget the Chasidic tale that introduces us to this moral virtue. Ironically,I remember only too well an antecedent to the story of Mrs. Ramis, mother of our next door neighbors being forced to eat at her own little table off of melmac because she would spill and drop food as she would eat. And she would eat only kosher food, while her daughter would fry the bacon and pork chops.
Even as a kid, I pitied her. My own grandmother never met that fate. My parents really cared for her. But, Mrs. Ramis’s daughter and grandsons never did anything to remediate the cruelty. Whenever I came over, her face would light up She would hum a Yiddish song, pinch my cheek, give me a cookie, and tell me that she loved me.
I wonder why? Good parenting and role modeling, I guess.
The story: http://www.moralstories.org/the-wooden-bowl/
WILUDI (Marc H. Wilson) is a retired rabbi who writes from Greenville, South Carolina. You may reach him at email@example.com.