Wednesday, May 15, 2013



images (275×183)                   A cold January evening found them disembarking in New York City.The family got smaller by half its members, when Lera and Grisha dropped a bomb  in Italy and announced that, they were going to live in Denmark, where Grisha's uncle lived. The relatives in New York met Meyer, Rimka and Dina and took them in, helping for the first few months in America. Dina still felt terribly out of place. She studied English and tried to see her way if not to happiness, then to some kind of contentment. She met with some guys, but nothing good came out of it. She asked God to help her find something other than tawdry relationships. The months flew by; she watched TV, prayed and bickered with her mother. One time she saw a table with church brochures on the street in front of the New Yorker Hotel. A man started to talk with her, but she could hardly understand him. She smiled ruefully and walked away.  
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A few months later she felt more confident. What's more, she did some work on her teeth and now, even though she was not aware of that, she  began to smile freely, letting her spirit shine through. A young man came to her door, selling funny clip-on toys. When he heard her accent, he asked, where she was from. She invited him in. He started to tell her about his church and ask questions about her spiritual life. He was the first person ever to do so. All she could think of was: "This is what I was waiting for!" 
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Dina went to the Unification Church's Sunday Service, then to the Witnessing Video Center. The band played there most nights and Dina felt like this was a familiar environment. This was soon after the Madison Square Garden Blessing of Marriage Ceremony, and she saw a lot of radiant hope in her hosts, who were willing to share this hope and their friendship with her. When she worked at the theater, she always felt self-conscious and inadequate among the actors. Now she was welcomed and encouraged. Even her broken English was declared to be "very good!".  
She couldn't even think of telling parents about her new pursuits. She secretly went  to a two-day workshop, stayed for seven days and never left after that!
 Her poor mother and father went through hell, hearing all the rumors about the Unification Church. They thought, they lost her forever. She tried to introduce them to various church members, who spoke Russian, but all was in vain. All that talk about God didn't make any sense to them. The fact that she was happy and fulfilled, for the first time in her life, didn't seem to matter: the poison they were taught their whole life prevented them from accepting her faith.   
And now I must rewrite the ending to this story. The conventional wisdom would've predicted a sound failure of Dina's current absorption and it would be, partially, right. Her mother repeated it often enough over the coming years: "You'll have nothing, you'll die in the ditch! They are just using all of you, you idiots!" And its true, most of the Unification Church members remain poor, although Dina's future husband was able to make good living. But what she learned early in her life was still true for her then: "One does not live by bread alone".
Thirty years later I came to believe that, even through all the disillusionments in the Unification Church and it's leadership; over the thoughts of decades wasted on supporting a cause, which, as I understand now, was not worthy of the young lives and energy and money that it claimed from it's members, even after all of that, I believe that God brought me to the United States and led me along this path for a purpose.
 When my husband and I started family, my parents came to live with us. Rimka and Meyer helped raise their grandchildren and lived right next to my family for many years. Those were the happiest years in their lives
images (160×240)     It took a long time, but I came to realize that, the causes and the leaders don't make one happy. Unlike Heavenly Father, they are bound to disappoint. Each person needs to learn to emit a sort of a gravitational pull, like planets and stars do, like God does, to keep and take responsibility for those in their sphere of influence. The happiness arises from an assurance that you are there for each other no matter what. The greatest joy, though, comes from the realization that the trials and destinies of each little person and a family somehow matter and are close to the loving Heart of God

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  1. Surprise, Dina.

    You have a comment. I hope you are sitting down. I appreciate the energy you've put into your blog. I wasn't aware how committed you've been to writing. Kudos to you!

    To those who don't know, I'm Mr. P.

    Blessings to you, Dina, and those who drop by.

  2. Dina, I've left you 2 fb messages, that you missed somehow, before realizing, I could write you here. I love this. Your wry honest commentary about your inner thoughts, is hilarious, I had to stop reading ,just so I could tell you on fb ..must continue reading now !