In life everything has intrinsic value. Some of that value is based on what that person or object is producing and some of it is based on potential. Our efforts to realize that potential will determine how much of that potential value is turned into true value.
Since getting home last month the major project as been organizing and cleaning up the studio. After many, many hours the hardest stage has finally been completed. I have maximized the space available for Channah's play room.
The studio was Rachel's special place. It was filled with all kinds of tools, raw materials, chemicals, how to magazines, guidebooks and items that she could turn into beautiful objects. The loss of Gabi significantly drained Rachel's potential and what she was able to transform in that room. However, it was still there. Then in an instant it was gone.
Over the last month (with the help of a really amazing profession organizer) every single item in that room was evaluated. Does it have sentimental value to me? Does it have sentimental value to Channah? Is this a repair that belongs to someone else? Does it have potential value to anyone else? How do I safely dispose of Nitric Acid? (Home Front Command has not given orders to open our gas masks. Based on what I read it would be necessary to dispose of it safely). If only Rachel was here she could make use of this.
As I was working the song 'Through Heaven's Eyes' kept popping up in my head. After fleeing from Egypt, Moses feels that he has no value. His future father-in-law Shlomo Carlebach. I mean Yitro. (Rachel always felt the character was modelled off of Carlebach) He sings about how to evaluate the value of a person.
A number of the versus have been incorporated in my life over the last 16 years or are particularly insightful today. Lyrics
The next step in the studio is going to be a lot slower. I am looking for buyers for professional equipment that deserve to be used as they were meant to. There are finished pieces to be put away for Channah's future enjoyment and sold off so other can enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of her work. There are items that I know deep down inside had potential when Rachel was alive but no longer have any value. I will eventually need to part with those items.
The flip side is my life is still full of potential. I have a 9 year old girl who doesn't have to give a second thought to doing what our ancestors could only dream of doing. She is an incredible kid, full of potential to change the world. She is going to once again have a mother who will help develop her potential in a way that only a mother can. I am going to have a wife. A life partner, where we can be happy raising our family in the land of Israel.
I have had enough grief and sorrow thrown at me that would destroy most people.My Grandmother lost her husband and son in the Holocaust. My Grandfather liberated her from her concentration camp. She picked up the pieces and rebuilt her life. I am also ready to pick up the pieces and build a life for me and my family. A life where I can be happy and we can all grow to maximize our potential. I know that is what Rachel would have wanted me to do.
I find it interesting that my favourite piyut from Yom Kippor is כי הנה כחומר It still bothers me that our shul doesn't use the tune I look.