Thursday, October 11, 2012

The LIKE Ladies

There's something on Facebook called the LIKE button. It has in fact become the icon of our generation.
You press LIKE to show that you've read someone's posting, or that you agree with his sentiments, that you support his cause, and sometimes :) that you truly LIKE what he's talking about and what he's doing.
Usually after a writer posts to Facebook he checks back a dozen times to see if someone pressed LIKE on his post. The more LIKEs he gets, the more he is filled with self-confidence and inner-satisfaction.
Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi once joked that the wicked Haman hated Mordechai the Jew because Mordechai refused to press his LIKE button.
Brunch with the LIKE Ladies
Yesterday I had brunch in Jerusalem with the LIKE Ladies (that's how I think of them). They're a bunch of women who belong to a "secret group" on the Internet.
Most had never met before. There are few common denominators between them, except that they’re all olim (their number of years in Israel varies), they’re all English-speakers (whether native or acquired), and they’re all caring women. They're varied ages, scattered in different parts of the country, living very diverse lives. Each was signed up to the group by someone else. (Batya Medad forced me into this new circle. Thanks, Batya.)  
The group’s premise is like some black-and-white movie about a group of strangers suddenly locked in a room together. But instead of having them bump off one another with each tick of the clock (the way Hitchcock would have staged it), our group members immediately clicked on the keyboard and in life.
Some post to the group a few times a day - sharing vignettes of their life, or "reporting the news" from their particular area. Some send links to their latest blogs or photos of their family.
Some, like me, mostly read everyone else's stuff, and press LIKE and comment. (Okay, I’ll try to post a little more.)

Those folks who NEED to see that their posts have been read, would do very well in this group, because it probably has the highest ratio of LIKEs to posts in the Facebook world.
Mostly everyone reads everyone else's stuff, presses LIKE and even comments.
It’s like being on Facebook with your biggest fans, your mother or your sister. It's a totally supportive, encouraging and empathetic environment. We strangers-turned-sisters are there (on the other side of the computer screen) for one another.

Hugs all Around
A month ago one of the women suggested we meet. No easy feat! Some of the women would have to take a day off work. Some would have to travel great distances on several buses in order to make it. Some would have to leave children or ailing relatives at home in order to attend.
But having shared so much of each others' thoughts and lives, it was clear that we had to meet! So whoever could swing it, decided to step away from the keyboard and into a restaurant.
Jerusalem was the scene of this first get-together. Like the entry of a rock star on to the set of Oprah, each arrival was greeted with a hug, a cheer and a LIKE.
We ate breakfast, of course we drank coffee (I had two cups) and we talked. Around the table, each took a turn sharing a piece of her life story - a dozen women, each with her personal dramas, her personal challenges and her personal triumphs.

Empowered Women
One of our group members called us all “powerful women.” Perhaps so.
As each new friend spoke, I felt that she was an empowered woman. I was held spellbound by each one’s story, and in the back of my head, I heard the music playing from Chariots of Fire. I can still hear it now. Da da da da da daaaa, da da da da da!!!  We had put together a dozen women with stories that could fire up the engine of many a publishing company. They made me laugh; they made me cry. Regular women on the outside, but on the inside GIANTS who had displayed (as my friend Jocelyn calls it) A TRIUMPH of SPIRIT that has helped and continues to help them prevail over the difficulties in their lives.
Everyone’s Got Something
Our meeting reaffirmed for me that everyone, everyone, everyone has difficulties in his/her life – of different sorts and in different times in their life. But with faith, a positive attitude, prayer and supportive friends (across the computer screen or across the table at a cafĂ©) who press LIKE, s/he can prevail over the trials, and go forward.
Friends, whether we have a keyboard in front of us or not, let us follow the example of the LIKE Ladies, and spend our days “pressing LIKE”. IY"H, we can change lives, and even worlds.

Read four other perspectives of our meeting, and introduce yourself to four terrific blogs:


  1. And I missed it!!!! I was one of the unfortunate who couldn't leave home :( . Anyone who couldn't come is busy planning for the next meeting.

  2. Where's the like button on this blog post???

  3. So nicely put Sharon! I have admired you from afar for several years now, since seeing your amazing work at Raise Your Spirits. It was a pleasure and an honor to meet you IRL (in real life as we say on the Internet).

  4. Proud to be a like lady
    Can't wait until md meet again

  5. "It’s like being on Facebook with your biggest fans, your mother or your sister." LOVED that. Nice, classy touch to include all of your soul sisters' blog posts. You are one classy Dame, and you ALWAYS raise my spirits.

  6. Kol HaKavod Sharon! This blog is so super. I couldn't stop laughing. And it is true what they say..laughter is the best medicine. And our little coffee talk group is also good medicine. For a few minutes each day, I can forget my 'peckala'[baggage] and chat with 'friends.' Without trying, we have become a support group, a true sisterhood. It was my pleasure to have brunch with you and thank-you for posting the link to my blog.

  7. I LIKE you my loving friend!!!