There is an old world saying, “Blessed are the hands that accomplish their own needs.”
It is described as a statement of admiration and blessing directed to one who uses their hands to meet their own needs. Whatever one does, it is with devotion and dedication, and it will be blessed. It can often be a substitute in an absence of monetary funds.
My mother’s hands were never used to hit any of her five children, of whom I was the youngest. If Poppa hit a child, he was told never to do that again. Her hands made great cooking and baking. She worked in a factory that made men’s ties, which she hand-sewed. She was so kind and gentle, and every grandchild adored her. I believe I have inherited hands that seek to accomplish their own needs.
In the spring and summer, I maintain gardens in the front and back of my house. Should I be in the front when pre-kindergarten children are being taken for a walk, I ask the attendants if I may give each of my young neighbors a flower. The answer is always yes, and I am paid with a smile from each child. It is well worth my hands.
The above is one of many uses of my hands. They have made a great deal of furniture for my home along with the homes of my son and daughter, as well as house gifts for many of my relatives and friends.
My hands have also written many stories both fiction and non-fiction. As a teenager, when I learned of the Holocaust and the death of many relatives, I wrote the following poem:
Aunts, uncles, cousins
some old, many young
fuel for the smokestacks belching death.
I never saw them, nor shall ever.
My hands have created a great deal of sculptures. Of particular importance was a sculpture that came out so well it was of museum status and exhibited in three museums and two Jewish Temples. It was a remembrance of my Holocaust poem that created the sculpture.
The last copy I made was donated by me to a Holocaust Museum which is a part of Temple Judea in Manhasset, Long Island. An unveiling of the piece was arranged for December 12, 2021, an event which was highlighted in the last edition of the Juniper Berry.
There were 50 people present at the unveiling. It was a day that was also the 65th anniversary of my marriage to Ethyl, and several weeks from my 94th birthday.
My hands have remained awake since the unveiling, wanting to do something. Many years ago, my hands were involved in making women’s pocket bags out of cigar boxes. I still ended up with many cigar boxes. Rather than discard them, I gave thought to do something to thank the women who attended the Holocaust unveiling. I decided to make jewelry boxes and have gifted them to many women.
At this stage of my life, have my hands accomplished all their needs?
Your guess is as good as mine.