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To remain stagnant is a crime; to fall back even worse


It can't be.

It’s not possible. Is it really the Hebrew month of Elul?

Oh my.

That means Rosh Hashanah is around the corner. A chill goes down my spine as I realize that on that day, a decision will be made on what the coming year will bring me. The last few years have brought me much joy, laughter, and amazing times with my husband, family, and friends. They have not, however, brought me something I long for: a child. On Rosh Hashanah, G‑d will decide if I will conceive in the coming year. Each year, tears fall on the page of my siddur as I hide my face from the curious eyes around me. I beseech G‑d to answer my prayers like He answered those of Sarah, the wife of Abraham. She was, after all, 90 years oldIs it really the Hebrew month of Elul? when her prayers were answered. “Please God,” I beg, “do not let me wait even half as long as she did!” I know that if He ordains it so, I may be a mother within this year. But if He does not, any medical treatment I subject myself to will be for naught. However, I always have another 12 months to appeal the decision for next year.

Looking back at the Rosh Hashanah of my first year of marriage, I smile. I recall a conversation with my friend, marveling at how much had changed in the past year. In one year, both of us had met and married our husbands. We laughed as we spoke, almost giddy with disbelief at our good fortune.

Fast forward another year. Most of my friends were married by then, with all of those married pregnant or with babies of their own. Except me. I realized with a jolt that in comparison with past years, where so much had changed for me, that year, much had remained the same. I was unsure, was this a good or a bad thing?

Did I want my life to change? Or was the old adage, "If it ain’t broke, don't fix it" applicable to my life?

ButDid I want my life to change? as another year crawled by, I realized something. G‑d brought us into this world to transform. We were put here to change for the better, and we need to try to do so each and every day of our lives. To remain stagnant is a crime; to fall back even worse.

And so, if I felt that nothing in my life was changing, it was only natural for me to crave a significant shift in my life. Some people create change through new careers, volunteerism, or philanthropy. In my case, what I truly wanted right now was a baby of my own.

Now, that sounds perfectly logical, doesn't it? Guess what? I thought so, too, until I reread the last few paragraphs (you can, too) and realized something so obvious.

My longing for a child does not have to be logical. It does not have to have a well-thought-out argument. I just long for a child. Period.

I want to be pregnant. BOOM.

II want to be pregnant. BOOM. want to have children. BANG.

I want to have a large family and raise them all with a love for G‑d. SHEBANG!

It’s simple.

It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't have to have good reasons. I just know one thing, and I am so sure of it my heart would yell it if it could. I want a child. I pray for a child.

I don't know if I will get what I ask for. I also don't know the reasons for decisions G‑d makes, and I don't want to know them.

I know what I need to know. I know He loves me, like He loves all of you. Many times we pray for things and don't get them, and people feel like that’s a waste of prayers. But there is no such thing as a wasted prayer. G‑d always answers. It’s just that sometimes, the answer can be “No.”

If G‑d wills something to be, it happens. May it be His will that all of those suffering from infertility hear a “YES” in the coming year.

by Zehava Deer
Zehava Deer is the pen name of a woman living in Brooklyn who is having trouble conceiving. Her column, “Pregnant with Hope—My Journey through Infertility,” describes her journey, and how she strives to remain positive through her pain.
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Elisheva Ontario October 7, 2013

Elisheva's son: Thank you for your kind wishes RMM in Florida Our baby, Mathias Joshua, is 35 years old. He was named after his Zayde who had come to take us to Stratford for dinner and a play when I was just barely four months pregnant - of course Bubbe came too! But it was Zayde with a twinkle and a tear in his eye. He took me aside (he knew about our struggles to conceive) and he told me so gently to be happy but not to hope too much, something could happen. And you may already know, since the baby was named after Zayde, that my dear father (in-law if I must say that) died of a heart attack at age 56 years of age. His death was instant. That was in October and I didn't really show at all yet; still, the sight of me bothered Bubbe so much that she bought me a berth on the train and I was escorted to the train by relatives to go home my myself, carrying Zayde's first grandchild. I felt I had to do what she wished and perhaps she feared for our health. We met again at the bris and that is a tale in itself. I long to tell it here! Reply

yiddishemaydel Calif September 18, 2013

I feel saddened Happy New Year!! If you read above, sometimes things don't work out like you planned, and the extra pressure on her is not helping. And thanks for all the outpouring of wishes for my fatal disease, which detracts from a mere pregnancy? They keep emailing me with these comments, and I still see tons of pressure on the one thing : ) Good luck and G-d bless. Reply

Richard Marcus Boca Raton, Florida September 18, 2013

To Elisheva in Ontario:

Dear Elisheva: I read your posting on the Chabad site and am just writing to ask how you are and HOW'S YOUR WONDERFUL BABY? I bet you'll be a typical "Jewish Mother" where nothing but the very best is just "good enough" for your child. comes another spoiled Jewish boy (jus' kidding! Enjoy your darling baby, best wishes and may all your hopes and dreams for you and your child be fulfilled.

RMM in Florida Reply

Reishma-El California September 15, 2013

Shalom A time for everything is already set. For Ha-Shem is the time keeper and the Will of existence resides with Him. Shema Yisra-el Ad-nai Eloheinu Ad-nai Echad. Reply

Sarah USA September 13, 2013

Please pray for me as well My name is Sarah, daughter of Chava, and I beg everyone reading this to pray for me to have a healthy baby as well. I'm married 13 years and long to be a mother more than words can express. Will G-d grant me a child? I hope and pray so, would you who are reading this pray for me as well? Thank you and G-d bless all of you. Reply

Elisheva Kingston, Ontario August 29, 2013

May you be blessed, Zehava I remember the tears and the longing. A positive test shortly after our marriage which was false. However, surgery was needed. Then medication and more surgery and genetic counselling and more medication . . . . month after month, year after year, until we were told it would never happen. My husband looked into medical school. I wanted a degree in horticulture. We made the decision to sell the house, apply to programs in different cities, different apartments.We would now begin the long application process for adoption. I recall a great sadness balanced by a huge unburdening. It was done. We had tried everything possible and it was time to move on . . . . . our son was born ten months later. It was a difficult birth and when the doctor said "it's a boy . . ." but his voice trailed off and there was no sound. We were terrified. I cried "Is he alive?" and then - a wail that seemed to shake the walls and break them down - our son - alive, Baruch Hashem. Reply

John Smith FL August 28, 2013

Really? When I read the title of the article "Unchanged- To remain stagnant is a crime; to fall back even worse", I would have never guessed what this article was about nor do I (as a man) have any opinion on these matters.

What I can say is.....G-d is Life. So by these terms, there is no point in thinking, worrying or contemplating other than for self. I find it amazing that with all the technology there is in the world today, there has never been any circumstance where man/woman have ever created Life from scratch, aka without help of pre-existing chemical reactions in a petri dish.

There is a reason for this, and contemplating about things we have no control over can seem to be (like this article) distraught and troubling for some. To me time/Life miss spent.

I apologize if this sounds harsh or with lack of any feeling as it is not intended. Reply

Daniel Masri Modiin August 28, 2013

Fertility Treatments Reason 236 to make Aliyah..... According to the Israeli National Health Insurance Law, insured persons (i.e. all Israeli citizens) are entitled to fertility testing and treatment including: treatments to increase sperm counts, medications, hormonal treatment, in-vitro fertilization. These treatments are an entitlement to a couple who do not have children in their current marriage (may have from previous marriages) for the first and second child and where the woman is under age 45 (there is no limit to the number of "attempts". In general the treatments are given at no cost to the patient, apart from co-payments. These co-payments are minimal and may be for the physician visits (about 17 shekels for 3 months of visits), injections (12 shekels/treatment) and others. Health funds are only required to provide fertility services in conjunction with government hospitals. Private hospital stays and treatments may be covered partially under the health plans' supplementary insurance Reply

Anonymous Chicagoland August 28, 2013

Children and Children of Your Own At one time, I wanted nothing more than our very own child. We had several miscarriages, and went through a lot of medical treatment. I taught school and when my husband changed schools, I became a nanny. My husband finished graduate school and we tried to adopt, but were told that we were too old. It was all rather discouraging, but I am a naturally optimistic person, so I hid my pain and tried to make us as full a life as possible. A few years ago, my husband was reading from the Haggadah at the part about a blessing for children in the following year, and I started crying. I couldn't help it. My husband stopped the Seder and came to my side to comfort me. "We may not have had the family we wanted," he said, "But you have made a difference in the lives of the hundreds of children that you have taught and taken care of. When you said you wanted a big family, HaShem took you at your word and gave you hundreds." I laughed, but it did make me feel better. More time for mitzvahs, too! Reply

Grace Pretoria, South Africa August 27, 2013

May you be blessed May all your prayers be answered. Do not loose hope, G-d will listen to our prayers and give us our heart desire in His own time.

Shalom Reply

Anonymous England August 26, 2013

Remember the Shumanite She served Hashem first and foremost, however she was without child. Elisha enquires what could I do for this woman to repay her kindness. And he said: 'at this season, when the time cometh round, thou shalt embrace a son.' And she said: 'Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thy handmaid.' 17 And the woman conceived, and bore a son at that season, when the time came round, as Elisha had said unto her.
Listen, the Tanach is a history of miracles from a Father who loves us, did the Shumanite lack faith for all those years before Elisha? No! she gave birth just at the right time that Hashem had planned for her, Elisha the man of G-d just reminded her. Go and know that this is your time. Reply

Leah August 26, 2013

It's okay if you don't have a child too!!! Shalom. L'shana Tovah. I hope Hashem blesses you withchild, but sometimes we can't and don't have, myself as point. I shed a lot of tears, but if I get to be with my husband and pup, I'm still blessed. Maybe you should go on vacation to try. Sometimes trying that hard and being under so much self pressure can put pregnancy on hold!! (And has either one of you been checked by doctor?) Or you can enjoy your present family and get a wonderful dog to be part of that family. They have brought nothing but ahava and support. I'm not being non chalant. I have a disease I pray doesn't kill me. I'm just looking at a heavier picture!!! Bless you. Reply

Reishma-El August 26, 2013

I actually DID go back and read the paragraphs over (before you stated to) and realized the same thing. G-d bless! Reply

deena August 26, 2013

Truly inspiring! May G-d help all those that need (yeshuos) help! Reply

Richard Florida, USA August 26, 2013

Many years ago I read an amazing TRUE STORY regarding the power of prayer. I've never forgotten it. It's up to US..every single reader, wherever we are, to pray for this woman. May HER FERVENT PRAYER BE FULFILLED.

Please join me in praying for this woman. It only takes a moment of our time, and it will benefit someone who dearly wants a child in her life.

AND TO THE WOMAN HERSELF: please let us know if your prayers are answered! Reply

Tyler August 26, 2013

I will be praying for your child in this upcoming year, and I will share this with friends and family so that they can as well. G-d bless you! Reply

Mihaela Brooklyn August 26, 2013

So nicely said! You have touched my heart! Nice and profound! Wish you all the best! M Reply

Anonymous Delray Beach, FL August 26, 2013

What do you really want? You need to decide what's most important to you --raising a child or giving birth. They are not the same thing. If it's a child--or children--don't waste any more time and money: move toward adoption immediately. If what matters most is not the child but the social status of pregnancy, keep going on with your treatments. Only you and your husband can decide if the primacy of your own genes is worth never having a child at all.
My daughter, now 35, was adopted at the age of 4 days. She even looks like me, because she has the same expressions, ways of speaking, etc. I do not believe I could love a home-grown child any more than I love her. We would have adopted a second child but ran out of funds, since we had foolishly spent so much on trying to fix our infertility. Reply

Mindy Brooklyn August 25, 2013

You are amazing I truly wish that the coming year will bring you all that you prayed for, especially a baby,
You have such amazing ביטחון. Reply

Infertility is often a silent struggle, making it all the more difficult to connect to others trying to conceive. I am a woman living in Brooklyn, who is having trouble conceiving. Throughout my journey thus far, I have tried to remain positive, and I strive to find some humor amid the pain. (I usually do.) I aim to give readers some hope, laughter, and sympathy.