Being Zayde


Thinking about the people I have been sharing the holidays with over recent weeks has me considering ways those moments can make a difference in the coming year.

My family is simply filled with incredible people and love that created beautiful memories. The friends with whom we shared moments are really like an extended family, and we met many new people over the course of our holidays.

Perhaps the more satisfying group of people this year were the many new faces and people I met in shul, in a sukkah or just around the neighborhood. These are the ones who give us the opportunity to recognize the essence of our holidays. That is not to say my family is any less incredible than I believe they are.

Really, the holidays are not just about the schlepping, the building of a sukkah or all the extra time we spend in shul. Of course, those things are important, but more importantly, I believe sharing the holiday is the essence of the holiday.

Don’t discount the simple “good yontiv” or “happy, healthy” or “L’Shana Tova” during this time of year, especially if it is accompanied with a warm smile and outstretched hands.

You could call an old friend, visit the sick and elderly or have lunch or dinner with someone in a sukkah. Continuing traditions, creating new ones and sharing them with old friends and new will certainly lead to lasting memories that can make a difference for everyone.

A dear friend became a zayde recently, and I know that he will find being a zayde presents so much joy that you just can’t help but share it with everyone and anyone — especially the ones you love. I am still a newcomer to the zayde club myself, and as you can tell, I love it. Absolutely love it. All the cliches associated with it are positively true too. I know this because talking with a zayde about his grandchildren lifts the spirits and brightens the soul of every zayde I know.

There are many things that can make sharing the holidays difficult. There are larger families, hundreds or even thousands of miles that separate us from loved ones, and yet, somehow, many or most find a way to be together. The truth is, there is so much beauty and appreciation for the effort we make to be together.

Our holidays tell our story, and the moments you experience are the basis of your very own story to love and share forever. Now, how can that not make the world a better place? I wish you a lifetime of beautiful stories.

Vito Simone is a Pikesville resident and a member of Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah.

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