Business or Pleasure?

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 15 December 2013 @ 8:01 am

An innocuous question.

After all, I’m at the airport in the dusky hours of the morning.
And people are, in fact, typically travelling for either business or pleasure. Or, occasionally, both.

Or neither.

There is no business on this journey.
I cannot steal my heart behind my rabbinic shield.
Files of work accompany me.
I know they will remain unopened, but their presence comforts me.

There is no pleasure in this journey.
I will see many friends on this trip.
We will cling to one another.
If only we were seeing one another on a happier occasion, we’ll say.

How do I answer the stranger?
The stranger who is seeking a one-word, uncomplicated response.
How do I answer?

monkey sam

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Debbie Harris 15 December 2013 @ 8:14 am at 8:14 am

So sorry for your loss! What a special little guy! During his brief life, he’s leaving quite a legacy!


2 leah 15 December 2013 @ 8:14 am at 8:14 am

When I arrived at my hotel in Tel Aviv last night, my eyes were red from crying. I skipped being polite and told her that I’d just found out about Sam and that I wouldn’t be home in time for the funeral. It’s so impossible….


3 Raizy 15 December 2013 @ 8:18 am at 8:18 am

If they asked the question – you TELL them the story. That’s how pediatric awareness grows. It sucks. And then share the 36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave Initiative. We need a cure


4 Aliza Worthington 15 December 2013 @ 9:26 am at 9:26 am

Depends on your inclination to engage said stranger. Follow your instincts. Sending you so much love.


5 Mark Kaiserman 15 December 2013 @ 10:43 am at 10:43 am

“Business or Pleasure?”
“I’m traveling for love.”


6 Raizy 15 December 2013 @ 11:17 am at 11:17 am



7 Debra 15 December 2013 @ 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm



8 Josh 15 December 2013 @ 11:15 am at 11:15 am

I like Mark’s response.


9 Missy Retsky 15 December 2013 @ 11:21 am at 11:21 am

You could say “not business.” Not any of your business. Sometimes i get frustrated by the i trusion into life of questions.


10 Miriam Rosen Gerber 15 December 2013 @ 11:43 am at 11:43 am

I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. I know Sam’s parents are being very stoic and trying to maintain during this trying time – but I can hear in my head the sound of their tears. May Sam’s memory be a blessing for them and others who knew him.


11 Laura 15 December 2013 @ 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm

Thank you for writing this beautiful post. Its sometimes so hard to have the right answers to questions, because although we have the urge to share sometimes it just doesn’t feel right. What a great blog post of this struggle of love


12 Lael 15 December 2013 @ 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm

You can’t blame people for asking, of course. But saying, “a friend died and I’m flying to be with his family,” is part of the mix of highs and lows that we experience in our lives. Those around you need that perspective, especially at this time of the year. But I support you in the difficulty of expression…it is hard.


13 belinda brock 15 December 2013 @ 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm

agree, just tell as much of the truth as you fell appropriate. we don’t need to protect the adult strangers among us from the harsh realities of life. sending sympathies.


14 PepGiraffe 16 December 2013 @ 10:32 am at 10:32 am

On business – of being a friend.


15 Judi Berliner 16 December 2013 @ 10:51 am at 10:51 am

We will join together to hold and support the entire Sommer Family.


16 rachelli 16 December 2013 @ 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm

I also liked marks response.
If only pple can read our eyes . then we do not need words.


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