The week that was

The week that was

When I was a kid, a long long time ago, I used to have a little Brownie camera. I had to load it with film, if you remember what film is, and then take the shots, eight or 12 of them, I think. I had to be careful, since each photo was destined to be precious if I got it right. If I got it wrong, it was worthless, but not cost-less. Worst of all for the impatient me that I was, and continue to be, I had to bring it to a store, usually a drug store or what we called a candy store, which would send it out to be developed. And then I had to wait! My pictures provided no immediate gratification whatsoever.

Of course, it was exciting to pick up the developed photos. Often there were duds. I never was a terrific photographer. But often there were some good and memorable shots. Although it was always an anticipated moment and the waiting itself provided a delicious delay, today’s way is significantly better. And less stressful.

Today, we, all of us, whip out our phones, our magic gadgets that allow us to speak in unlimited time and distance to our friends and family around the world, see them (remember when a visual telephone conversation was a far-fetched dream), check the stock market and the news and read the newspapers, watch a film, check our flight schedule, and on and on ad infinitum. Oh yes. We can also snap photos, over and over until we get them right, and they are “developed” instantly. And what treasures those photos encompass.

Yesterday I got a series of precious shots of our brand new great-granddaughter, who is as yet unnamed, but certainly not untitled! She is definitely a princess, being born to a family of three sons and to a father who is one of five sons. Oh yes. Whatever beautiful name she is blessed with, she’s a princess without a doubt!

So there she is in my phone’s collection, which already includes newborn shots of her three big brothers, Noam, Itai, and Lior, and two first cousins, Sophie, another fabulous girl, and Elchanan, another delightful boy. To call these photos treasures is a distinct understatement. They are in fact the greatest joys, and I can easily gaze on them whenever the muse instructs me to gaze on your great-grandchildren.

Now that I’ve got this remarkable gadget, the phone, and these so much more amazing kids, the great-grandchildren, I can do so much more with them. With the babies on Facetime I can make adorable — and from an 84-year-old not much is adorable — sounds to entertain them. More importantly, they can make their own adorable sounds to entertain me. And they can kick their little feet and learn to eat string beans, and even better, peas, and reach for their mobiles and coo and turn over and then grow up so quickly that I have already seen the eldest get his siddur. I love to watch from afar as they all mature and develop, but clearly it is a monumental leap from a picture sent in an envelope, without the reality of interactions and conversations. So this little girl is in Maryland and I am in New Jersey, but I see her and hear her loud and clear. And she is beautiful, as is Sophie, and all the boys are handsome, and I feel close to them. And love them immensely!

The picture of the new baby with her three brothers gazing at her, she being then a day old, is simply thrilling. She is magical, and they are enchanted. Yes. I know. They will soon take her for granted, at least sometimes, but my own mother was born to a family of two older brothers, and they watched over her all their lives. A little sister is a special item! I cannot wait to hear her name.

This was a dynamic week, a dynamic wedding week I should say. This marks the halfway point of our grandchildren’s weddings. This was the seventh out of 14. If the remaining seven match up as perfectly as the first seven, we will indeed be very lucky grandparents. Not only is everyone Jewish, but everyone is seriously proudly educated, learned Jewish. We could have had no better goal in our lives than to have every single member of our family marry another committed Jew. Credit must be given for this to our amazing children, who’ve spent enormous fortunes on day school educations, Israel travel, and Jewish camps. We certainly have investment-quality grandchildren! Each and every one of them.

This week’s wedding of Maayan and Ari was simply fabulous. Within the next month they both will graduate as doctors, Ari a medical doctor and Maayan a dentist. They are each hard working, goal centered, and will soon embark on residencies for the next few years. We are exceedingly proud of them, and with all of the seriousness that is attached to their studies, they and what seemed like thousands of their friends, but were actually only in the hundreds, know very well how to let their hair down and dance til dawn. For this old lady it was tiring to watch them celebrate, but watch I did, and while remaining not at all tempted to join the feet pounding on the floors, rejoicing in seeing so much happiness in times where and when it is hard to do!

Our grandson Aaron recited the prayer for Israel under the chuppah. Aaron, recently released from service in the IDF, brought tears to my eyes, and many others as well. Looking at him in a civilian suit and tie was quite the contrast from recently seeing him in his army fatigues before he left for Gaza. Here’s to a long lifetime of peace and joy, Aaron Yehuda! We worried plenty, but you always make us proud.

No coincidence at all, but long lifetimes of peace and joy are exactly what we wish for our new little girl, and newly married young couple, and for all our progeny and fellow Jewish seekers of happiness.

If only my news could stop right there, without Iran casting giant dark shadows on all of us. Let me say it loud and profanely: those bastards are trying to destroy our happiness, yours, mine, and every other Jew’s on this planet! The absolute nerve of them! Why can’t this world allow us to have peace and pleasure without haunting us with missiles? Why do our joyous moments have to be tempered by the sounds of distant air-raid sirens in our own land? We’ll show them. Indeed we will prevail, but not one of our people should have to lose his life to teach them a lesson.

A comment from an old lady who was taught to speak like a lady but is just too infuriated to remember her parents’ teachings: let our enemies rot in hell!!!!

Rosanne Skopp of West Orange is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of 14, and great-grandmother of six. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and a dual citizen of the United States and Israel. She is a lifelong blogger, writing blogs before anyone knew what a blog was! She welcomes email at

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