Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Rebbetzinless Husband turns to music

[This week's Haveil Havalim is here]

Music is my drug; I got in the car this morning and turned it on, and Presto, instant mood change. I was nervous about a couple of things happening today (more on that below), a little tired, a little focussed on some of the projects I’m developing. But then the music kicked in, and the world suddenly turned on a better axis. [Song: “All we want” by Elias. Usually my first song after Lag ba’Omer carries some real or imagined portent, but not this time. I think.]

Every year the period from after Pesach through Lag ba’Omer is difficult for me; I have greater difficulty zoning out the world in order to write derashos and articles, focussing on a difficult Minchas Chinuch to develop a shiur, or calming down after a shiva visit, without the influence of shirah. The quality I produce really does drop; I can see the difference. But then comes Lag ba’Omer morning, and BOOM is it ever different. I feel genuinely good.

For other people the drug is television or movies, for some people it’s food, for me it’s drums and a guitar. I let it flow over me, and the effect is immediate.

Which is a good thing, because as of this afternoon I will be Rebbetzinless through Thursday night. The grand Rebbetzin is heading to the USA for work for the week [due to the benighted US patent disclosure laws governing international communication; long story], and I will be in charge of the kids, as well as the rest of my responsibilities. Breakfast, lunches to take to school, dinners, getting them going in the morning, cleaning up, doing dishes, you name it. We’ve hired help coming to watch the kids during shacharis and to babysit during night seder, but the rest will be my responsibility.

My honored wife has actually prepared things for me to the point where it’s as automated as it could be. Food pre-cooked for dinners, lists of which clothing the kids need for which days, reminders for nuances of the schedule… a document along the lines of theTransition Document I left behind for my pulpit successor last year, I suppose. She is very good to me.

So this week will be somewhat hectic. If this weren’t the day I got my music back, I might be nervous. To say the least. But not today. Today I got my music back.


  1. You, and Elisha hanavi.

    I know you will miss your wife (for many reasons!), but I hope you find the special hidden blessings that come only from an opportunity like this. No doubt, you will.


  2. Also thankful here that the music has come back, but the rest of the posting kind of reminds me of that old cartoon where a woman is pictured with one child in her right arm, while that right hand is stirring 5 pots on the stove, another child holding tight to her left arm, while the left hand is busy pushing a mop on the floor, and two other children are hanging on her skirts. And the husband comes home and asks "So, what did you do today?" Should be a marriage requirement that wives let their husbands discover that answer by having to do ALL that the wife does and with none of the pre-prep that your wife gave you as a gift.

  3. My friend you are never the person whose child rearing skills I worry about. It is not because you have smicha or good taste in music and movies.

    Rather it is the common sense and clear understanding of obligations that makes you more than a simple abba.

    The kids will be fine and so will you. Even without the additional help, you'd easily manage.

  4. R' Mordechai-
    Indeed. And I'll likely enjoy it more in retrospect.

    Wow, that was harsh! For the record, I'm not the husband in that cartoon.

    Thanks, Jack. And remember: Training is nothing. Will is everything!

  5. Sorry Rabbi T, the cartoon was not meant specifically for you. But perhaps there would be less male/female chepping if both sexes were required to fulfill each others duties for a while to gain some hands on experience. Women have for quite some time been co-partners in the outside work world or been the sole parnoseh in a household. Relatively few men have made the switch and "played mother." Maybe if they did there would be more understanding and less mockery.