They follow me everywhere. I go to my room and close the door. I want to exercise or lie down. Just five minutes of a little peace and quiet. The entire apartment is unoccupied for their use, and before I know it, they’re after me . . .


I’m never alone. Except when I’m alone.

What is it about children that they crave, they so need, the constant contact of their mother (or caregiver)?

I think the answer lies in water.


There is an incredible phenomenon about the composition of water. Because of water’s polarity, water attracts water.

When a baby is born, water comprises almost 80 percent of their body. What do they cling to? They cling to you, their first contact with water. As they grow, the water decreases, butAs they get older, the attraction diminishes even when a child reaches adulthood, the body is still made up of 55 percent to 65 percent water. And where is the water found most? The brain, the heart, the lungs and skin. The seat of our emotions, our intelligence, our soul, our breath—and our contact with one another.

When my children follow me, it’s because they are attracted to me. As they get older, the attraction diminishes (parents of teenagers understand what I mean), but it’s still there. How wonderful that we need each other and are pulled to one another!

Water needs boundaries and a receptacle to contain it, otherwise it goes everywhere. Everyone needs their space and their quiet time, their alone time. But in our generation, we sometimes forget why we are here and what our purpose is. It’s to be water. We’re here to attract and irrigate one another.

I grew up in a world that was very much centered on the “me.” What can I do to look better? What can I do to get ahead? What will I gain from that job, that degree, that career, that relationship?

The first priority was getting a good degree so that you could get a good job so that you could make a lot of money. The emphasis was not on forming a family, making that a priority, or what you could do for the greater good, for the community.

When I turned 18, I started going to the homes of religious families. These were families who hosted guests even though their table was already brimming with children of their own. Families whose values were based on giving, not just taking. All of a sudden, my world opened up to a universe that was greater than just me—that needed me.

My world opened up to the awesomeness of water.

There’s another thing that I notice about my children, and it too has to do with water. When I’m in a good mood, they seem to be in a better mood. If I’m tired, annoyed or upset, it rubs off on them. You can see, not just feel, how my energy reflects on them and shoots right back onto me like the reflection in a mirror. This water molecule of positivity (smiles) attracts another like it, and that water molecule of negativity (frowns) attracts another like it.

There’s a seven-week period between Passover and Shavuot when the custom is to learn Pirkei Avot (“Ethics of Our Fathers”), to try to really work on yourself as a collective people as we prepare to receive the Torah. It’s also a time to mourn the loss of the students of Rabbi Akiva, great men who died of a plague that our sages explain was caused by a lack, on their high level, of not fulfilling the dictum of their teacher: “Love your fellow as yourself.” In some way, they didn’t show each other the proper respect that they deserved.

Could it be that we don’t understand our own importance? Our own greatness, as powers to reflect and influence and nurture?

Love your fellow asWhen I’m unhappy, it really does reflect on those around me yourself. That means: however I am is what will be felt by those around me. When I’m unhappy, it really does reflect those around me. I’m human, and life is a roller coaster of ups and downs. It’s not that I should be fake, and it’s not that I can’t allow myself the space and time to feel tired or frustrated or sad. But I also have to know that “like water, where the face reflects the face, so is the heart of man to man” (Proverbs 27:19). I have to know that ultimately I do have a responsibility—not just to myself, but to everyone around me.

When I realize the greatness of my power to attract—the magnitude held in the expressions on my face—maybe, just maybe, I’ll put in a bit more effort to see the good instead of the bad, the blessing instead of the burden.

The love, attention and honor that I need or crave will be reflected back by those around me when I myself give it out. And the smile will be sincere, because I understand its impact on the lives of those around me.