Home » Arts and Culture, Lior Misrachi, Recent Posts

Limmud l’Mamma

June 22, 2011 – 12:49 pm27 Comments

By Lior Misrachi

The other day I complained to my husband about my iphone (I find that I often lean on it in such a way that I turn myself on mute) and he told me to stop ‘white whining’. He had just read about a new idiom in the Good Weekend; a ‘white whine’. When people who ostensibly have nothing to complain about, complain about something trivial and materialistic – like an iphone.

So, while I sip my white wine alone tonight, allow me to whine.

I love my husband’s job. Michael is the Education Director of Encounters @ Shalom, part of The Shalom Institute here in Sydney. He gets to direct amazing events such as the Sydney Jewish Writers’ Festival, Limmud-Oz (Sydney) and was responsible for bringing Limmud-Oz Fest to Australia.

The perks I get from his job are amazing. Last year I got to have dinner with Yehuda Bauer. I spent quality time with Ron Ben Yishai. I walked the Bondi to Bronte with Steve Israel.

Since my days at Machon I admired Steve and would have sorely loved to hear more of him. He was one of the primary presenters at last year’s inaugural Limmud-Oz Fest. But, I just happened to be 37 weeks pregnant at the time. I missed out. I spent the weekend at my parents’ place alone and kept looking at the clock wondering what I was missing. Our beautiful son Eitan was born five days later! Lucky I didn’t listen to those who told me first babies never come early!

In 2005 I went to visit my grandparents in Israel. My cousins introduced me to an up-and-coming Israeli artist by the name of Efrat Gosh. I was hooked and have been following her career and her music since then.

In 2008 Michael and I travelled to England to participate in Limmud Conference – the original one. It was an inspirational weekend. And I fell in culinary love. With Israeli celebrity chef, Gil Hovav. Not only is he a wonderful cook, he is such a delightful man. Kind and modest despite his fame and his yichis. I had already read his biography and now went out and purchased his cookbooks.

So for many years now I have been listening to Efrat Gosh and cooking ‘with’ Gil Hovav – sometimes even together. So you can just imagine my excitement when I learnt that BOTH Efrat and Gil were going to be a part of Limmud-Oz! AMAZING!

Did I mention the perks of being Michael’s wife? Last Friday night we had dinner with the international presenters that came to Limmud-Oz. And I just happened to be sitting opposite Gil Hovav. I planned to be witty and charming and ask insightful questions; not the ones that everyone else asks.

Eitan, however, had other plans for me. Our son is usually an amazing sleeper and very transportable. That Friday night however, he just would not settle. And I found myself pacing up and down and singing to him in a dark room while everyone else mingled and chatted. Instead of witty and charming I was flustered and covered in saliva and vomit. At the end of the night I had the feeling of being left behind. I felt deflated and disappointed. That night Eitan did not sleep and on Shabbat I discovered that he was teething. Typical. 6 months and 2 days old and my little yeke has to be bang on time! Couldn’t wait three days for Limmud-Oz to be over.

Today was the first day of Limmud-Oz. Eitan had had his morning sleep, his breakfast and his morning feed.  He was surprisingly calm on our drive to the University of New South Wales. But then, just as we arrived, everything went pear shaped. My chilled little boy whined and whimpered and cried all morning. I didn’t get to the first session and not the second (Gil Hovav’s just by the way).

I left Gil’s session after two minutes, feeling that sense of deflation and went to change Eitan’s nappy. I was supposed to be in a panel during the next session and wanted Eitan to be clean and fed before I passed him over so I could speak with a clear conscience. But again, Eitan had other plans for me. He peed all over me, himself and the bench I was using. He screamed and screamed and I was forced to go home. No Gil Hovav for me. And though Efrat Gosh’s main concert is tonight she is giving an afternoon one tomorrow. And I won’t be there. I own many of Gil’s books and all of Efrat’s CD’s. Most of those in the audience for both of them had never heard of them before.

And thus I find myself  alone at home listening to Efrat (Lerot Et Haor on repeat) and having a white whine.

Except that here’s the thing. My son was not himself today. He was sore and unhappy and clingy. And there was no one who could give him what he needed except me. He clung on to me tightly all day. He grabbed handfuls of my hair and would not let go. He nuzzled into my neck whimpering while I sang to him and soothed him and kissed him. I saw the tension melt away from his body as I gently rubbed ointment into his tender gums. I rocked him as usual while I fed him before bed and held his loving gaze. His big brown seal eyes holding mine. And I haven’t felt so blessed since the first time I locked eyes with my beautiful son six months ago as he entered the world. Truly tonight I am the luckiest woman alive.

Print Friendly