The Shoes That Had Their Own Path
Sometimes we are taught that other people and their ideas are dangerous and we should stay away from them. My Bubie believes that it is important to be strong in your values and your beliefs but also to be open to hearing, learning and trying to understand other people’s ideas. She says that there is a saying that, you cannot judge another person until you have walked in his shoes. This means that you need to experience what their life is like before you can judge them; although you can judge if their behavior is hurtful.
One way that we can make our world better is to try to understand each other and accept one another for who we are. This is especially if they are different from us, as long as they are good people who try to help others and make the world a better place in which to live. This next story is about two girls from two different neighborhoods who become friends, and walk in each other's shoes, in spite of the fact that their shoes seem to have different paths.
Bina and the Big Decision
Where I live, there are not enough girls’ schools, and it is very difficult to get accepted to any of them. The schools are looking for girls who are the same in dress, family, and behavior. My Bubie believes that all children should have an education, both girls and boys. There are many ways to learn but school is an important place for children to learn not just skills but also how to play and work with others, how to listen to each other, and how to share different ideas. I’m not sure if everyone would agree with my Bubie but the next story is about a young girl who desperately wanted to learn in school, and no one would accept her. She had to make a big decision on her own.
Bubie's in Bidud
The whole world is fighting a very bad virus now and so anyone who even gets near someone who has it or works someplace where two people have the virus they must stay at home, not go out or have anyone come to their house. My Bubie teaches at a school where two teachers got the virus and so everyone in the school was put in what we call, Bidud Bayit, or home quarantine. I don’t really understand about viruses and I was really curious about what Bubie can and cannot do in Bidud, so the following story helped me to understand.
My Bubie loves colors. She dresses in colors and loves to see paintings and art that has colors and textures. It is hard for my Bubie to see us only allowed to wear dark colors. She dreams that someday she will be able to take us to the shops and buy us outfits that bring out all of the colors of the world. The next story is about girls who find their own way to bring colors into their lives.
Miriam and the Carp
My Bubie loves to swim. She goes to the pool every morning, except for Shabbat and Holidays, and swims back and forth for over an hour. Bubie says that water gives life, not just to drink it, since most of our bodies are made of water, but also to surround ourselves with the healing power of water. My parents won’t let us learn how to swim. My brother goes to a pool with his friends but does not take lessons and my sisters and I are not allowed to go to a pool or the beach to swim, even if there are only ladies. I am not sure why this is but this is what it is. The next story is about a girl who desperately wants to go swimming and a carp (a type of fish) who becomes her friend.
God has a plan!
My Bubie believes that people can speak to us in our dreams. She says that there have been many times when her Bubie and Zada came to her in dreams to help her to calm down when she was worried about something. One time, her great Zada even came to her in a dream and spoke Yiddish to her and she understood and spoke Yiddish back to him! Also, one time, a girl who could not speak at all, whom my Bubie was helping to do a Bat Mitzvah, came to her in a dream and spoke to her. No one has spoken to me in my dreams, yet, but here is a story about children with disabilities who came and spoke to children while they were asleep and dreaming.
Chaya learns to say, “No”!
My Bubie gets worried sometimes because she knows that there are people who may hurt or scare children or do things that she says is not appropriate (that means it is not good or right). She always tells us that if we feel uncomfortable in a place, even if it is with people we know, we need to leave and we need to tell our parents or our Bubie and Zada about what made us upset. I am good at saying ‘No’ when I don’t want to do something or it doesn’t feel right, but some children need to learn this, as you can read in the next story.
How is our world built? My Bubie asked us this question once. Is the world built with wood and bricks and mortar? Is the world built with words and mitzvoth (good deeds) and acts of loving kindness? I think that all of these answers are true, but for sure the world of imagination is built with words and those words become stories and those stories can change the world, just like the next one about Sima, the storyteller.
What makes something magical? Is it the wonder that we see in it or when something happens that we don’t expect; the element of surprise? One fact is for sure and that is we know when we see something magical. It is awesome and awe inspiring. My Bubie says that there is magic all around us, we just need to open our eyes to see it. This is a story about a young boy who was taking care of his friend’s parrot. When the two friends took the bird outside, thinking she couldn’t fly away because her wings were clipped, the parrot took off for the sky never to be seen again, or was she?
My Bubie says that many things in the world happen because people have desire. It is one of the characteristics that Hashem gives to us and when used for the good, the world becomes a better place. I didn’t really understand what it means to have desire and so my Bubie told me the following story…