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My Birthday Wish

On this very special day...

the day I first stepped into this beautiful world.

At that time

it was all beautiful...

I had the most loving mother ~ Gloria Bayla (Golden Sunshine),

father, brother

and, a baby brother or sister on the way

arriving just around my third birthday.


A few years after I was born

on a cold January day only my dad returned

from the 'holiday' he and my mom were on in sunny Mexico

where she took her last breath;

But he was very different

my brother changed too from that news

and me

well, I just assumed my mom would be back in the morning

because she had always been there for me every morning

as though I was looking into the eyes of the creator

every blessed morning of my life.


It was like a total scene change

from a glorious life

to a terrifying existence.


One thing I learned along the way was that there were many others

whose lives got derailed at a young age;

You can often see them sleeping on the city streets

they all have talents and skills...

perhaps one is destined to be the world's greatest comedian

or inventor of true green technologies

or a healer or a saint.

I have met some amazing people who are truly homeless;

yes, it's like they lost it all.

I know that feeling of losing it all

All those stuck emotions have to flow

flow, flow away into the ether of time.

I discovered that the Sabbath changed my life

perhaps more than anything else

finally, one day a week where I gave myself permission

to just relax;

spinning your wheels in the mud takes a great deal of energy

it was the first time in my life when I learned to truly rest...

It felt so good...

I didn't realize just how tired I was.

I see that in so many others.

Rest in Peace while you are still alive.



my birthday wish

would be to help someone else get back home.

Here are a number of people that I know

who need help and support.

It would be my greatest joy if on this birthday

These people find a home to go to

or some hope that true help is on the way.

True success is when you are able to help someone else succeed.


One friend who has been homeless since the age of 15

is now in his fifties and he is still homeless.

He is one of the best communicators, musician, writer, artist, comedian

and so much more.

Well, luckily he's been staying in a hotel during this past winter.

Now, by the grace of God, he has acquired a beautiful trailer home

but he has nowhere to put it...

the trailer parks make you leave your home for the cold winter months.

if anyone has any ideas of a lovely spot

for him to finally park his home

I know for a fact that he would greatly appreciate it.


Or how about the widow in her 90's

who wonders why so few people call or visit

who lives alone in an apartment

who always reminds me to love your neighbor as yourself

who blesses me and says how there is a warmth in her heart

when I visit her.

How about her?

It's not about self help but other help ~ 

a little fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses.


Another friend is a master outdoor's person

he can build a house, cut trees with a chainsaw, and is a brilliant artist

he lost his family too,

in a different way

but I always felt his deep pain.

He's also at a motel

He needs a home

that is all he ever really needed.


Or there is the Jewish man who is a great

Torah Teacher.

I met him at the Minsk Synagogue in Kensington market;

One of the first synagogues in Toronto.

Now there is only a handful of people holding up the crumbling walls.

There was a sadness I felt every time I walked in there

wondering what had happened to that house of prayer

in the heart of Toronto

where rats scramble around the basement 'ball room' during a meal.

With faded pictures on the wall of a full house many years ago.

Who cares about that building?

Seems like most of the 'community' moved north 

to the 'rich' part of town

yet so poor in heart.

My grandfather prayed at the Minsk.

My Uncle had his Bar Mitzvah there.

I'm sure my mom had been there too.

I would wonder, “Does any body care?”

I imagined a 24/7 kitchen serving whoever wanted a hot meal

A place for teaching and learning and growing.

I became good friends with The Torah Scholar that I met there;

He was homeless too

I would visit him in coffee shops and

we would work on design projects on his computer.

Ever since I met him two or three years ago

He has been staying in homeless shelters.

Now he is at a Native homeless shelter and says that it has been

the best place so far.

These days, when I visit,

we hang out on a bench in front of a closed church

other homeless people often leaning against the front door.

That is the world we live in

all these warm places and those who need them the most

are locked out in the cold.

I imagine the church being open 24/7 serving three meals a day

a true refuge for anyone feeling lost and alone

a place to learn, serve, grow

a true community


My birthday wish is that these lovely souls find a home

as well as all the other houseless people

that you see on our city streets

or those with houses

but not a home

the greatest


in the world



"If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you,

then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner,

that he may live with you."

~ Leviticus 25:35

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