Zorem-ing with God

‘Zorem’ in Hebrew means ‘to flow’.

And right now, I am doing my very best to stp thinking things need to be a certain way, that I need to have things how I want them, and how I think ‘they should be’, and to just zorem with God’s decisions.

It’s really hard.

My neighbor downstairs told me yesterday she’s persuaded my landlords to cut down the massive tree at the back of the house…. Which gives us a lot of shade in the Summer.

But my neighbor likes sun…. Lots and lots of sun…. And she’s ‘friends’ with the landlord, so the landlord – who doesn’t listen to us, when we tell them repeatedly that our aircon is busted and needs fixing, or our heating is broken – is apparently listening to her, to cut down the massive tree.


She told me all this just as I was coming back to the house from a frustrating couple of hours driving around Jerusalem.

I volunteered to get a kid from Netivot from his school in Jerusalem one day a week. His parents fled here from Netivot post-October 7th. Then lived in a hotel for a month. Then moved to a ‘donated’ apartment. Then moved again a month later to a different ‘donated’ apartment.

They are all over the place.


So, I’m on the way to pick up the kid from his school, when the mother calls me all apologetically, and explains that she forgot to tell me they just moved house again the day before, and now they live in Sha’arei Chesed.

Ok, fine, no problem. I’ll come to the street, call you, and you can guide me from there.

I hung up, spent another half an hour in the traffic jams that just seem to be getting worse and worse all over the country and got to the school.

After standing by the gate for five minutes, and not seeing the kid, I asked one of his classmates to go and call him.

Uh, he didn’t come to school today!



I called the mother.

Oh Rivka!! I’m so embarassed!! I totally forgot he didn’t go to school today!! What a busha!!!


I got back in the car, spent another 45 minutes in annoying Jerusalem traffic jams – and tried very hard to defuse my feeling of resentment.

She’s cracking up… It’s a very hard situation…. At the end of the day, you spent the same time you were going to spend anyway, so no harm done. Forgive her, and move on.

And on the other side of the equation:

That is the last time I am picking up her kid!!! This is ridiculous!!! My time is precious!!!


So, I get home from that to meet my neighbor on the steps of my house, all smiles, as she managed to get her way, apparently, to ‘convince’ the landlord to chop down the massive tree in the back.

And the garden is looking gorgeous!!! She purred at me. You don’t mind if I move the rosemary around, do you? It’s getting swamped in the geranium….

She likes the rosemary.

And she likes hinting to me that I should spend a few more hours of my precious time weeding what has now become ‘her garden’.


I stomped into the house, sat down on the couch, and felt like crying.

Then, I felt like moving.

I spent an hour seeing that’s also not really going to work out…. And then I felt like crying again.


God, I have no place in the world that’s really ‘mine’.

It’s a familiar, and very painful, refrain.


So then, the kid who is not working this week decided I need the internet!!!, so she shlepped off to my husband’s office to get the cable, and voila, another decision I’d made for my own peace of mind, health and happiness got overturned.

Truthfully, she really did need it. She doesn’t have a smartphone and suddenly had a hirhur to get her jewellery business up and running, after months of procrastinating.

So, I got sucked into ‘just checking my emails’ – and voila, two hours disappeared down the tubes as I gorged on a ‘Schneersons are secular commies in disguise’ site my friend sent me to check out.


Uh, is it ok we are just having fishfingers and broccoli for supper? I asked my husband as he stepped through the door.

Wonderful! He said. He’s so good to me. (And he doesn’t like fishfingers so much, I’m starting to realise.)


But in the meantime…. That feeling of angry frustration was still wrankling around.

I put up the posts from the Rav, then went to bed not feeling so happy.

This morning, I woke up with a headache.

I came down – and I see that the kid left the wifi plugged in all night, even though I have asked and begged a million times, that she remembers to take it out when she’s done.

The anger flared up for a moment.

I can’t believe these selfish, thoughtless, self-centred people!!!! One tiny little request and even that is too much for them!!!


I pressed pause on the self-righteous anger fit, and realised I needed to sit and recite the Rav’s prayers on overcoming anger, pronto.

You can download them HERE, with the English translation and the Hebrew together, and they work like magic.


When God wants to send a person a lot of wealth and bounty, He first tests them with the test of anger.

If a person fails that test…. All the parnassa they were meant to have goes elsewhere.

But in this mad, crazy, infuriating world of ours, passing that test is becoming increasingly hard.


Another thing that happens when we get angry is that ‘demons control us’ – and then we become susceptible to all sorts of terrible illnesses and afflictions.

Again, not something that anyone wants.



So I sat for half an hour on my couch, said the prayers, and now I’m feeling much calmer again.

I will ask the kid nicely to please remember about the wifi, and I’m sure she’ll be suitably sorry that she happened to forget yesterday night.

I will text the woman with the son from Netivot today, and tell her no problem, these things happen. I am happy to continue picking him up – after Pesach is out the way.

(There’s a limit, after all.)

And, I will work very, very hard on accepting God’s plan for the garden, and to try and uproot the festering grudge against my neighbor that is trying to bed down in my heart.

This is all bizayon. It’s all scrubbing my sins off, in the most gentle way possible – as long as I can accept what’s happening with love.

That’s a big if.


Let’s end with a quote from the Rav’s booklet on prayers to overcome anger:

A person comes to the Tzaddik to acquire patience.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov explains in Likutey Moharan Lesson 155 how a person merits to acquire patience:


Rabbenu warns that one angry outburst destroys 100 opportunities to make a living.

There is nothing to get angry about!

Know, that everything is from Hashem.


That says it all.

Whether it’s my two-faced neighbor, my thoughtless kid, ‘Kaplan Force’ closing down all the roads in Jerusalem with their mini-riots by the PM’s house, WAZE turning off ten minutes from your destination and refusing to work again, aircons not working, Pesach cleaning that just isn’t getting done, wives who keep making you fishfingers for supper….

It’s all just from God.

And the more I can accept that ‘this is how God wants things, right now’ – the happier, healthier and calmer I’ll be.

3 replies
  1. Malka
    Malka says:

    Rivka, you are so good. I would not continue dealing with ditz mother who doesn’t even remember where her kid is! Internet happens. If you have electrical box, turn off all electricity you don’t need at night. Refrigerator puts a lot of Emf, I put it on lowest at night. There are old versions of router without wifi. I want to get one, but not sure which and if it is same speed. Sorry about tree. Maybe convince your neighbor to wait until summer when she might appreciate the shade. Let her do all the gardening. Nothing is ours anyway. All belongs to HaShem. Fish fingers are yummy. Hope your Pesach cleaning goes well and you will be zorem will return.

  2. Daisy
    Daisy says:

    Rivka, I really empathize with you. So sorry about all the difficulties you are going through.

    I will daven to Hashem that He should at least help you with that tree; you certainly deserve it.

    I know the feeling regarding gardening: it is so upsetting when somebody else decides what to do with your labor, your plans, your needs, nature that makes you happy – mean woman, what can I say….. she will pay for her meanness, while you will earn points for your humble attitude. Hashem Yerachem! And it should be the worst you ever have to go through in your life. Only good from now on B”H!
    Love – not just from me, I am sure from all your readers too – Chizki ve Emtzi! And Shavua Tov.

    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      Thanks for the empathy, I appreciate the kind thoughts. At the same time… it’s really ‘just a tree’, and as my husband keeps emphasising, it’s not our garden.

      So, it’s a very big test of my middot, but in a very small and objectively ‘not a big deal, really ‘package.

      And I’m not a humble tzaddeket – I sent her a text giving her a piece of my mind on Friday.

      I felt much better… but also a little disappointed that my ability to ‘accept bizayon and stay quiet’ is actually maybe about 7% of where I’d like it to be.

      What can I do.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.