Thursday, February 02, 2017

Apparently, our daughter wasn't born


Believe it or not, we were summoned back to Home Affairs today (that's after a few hours' long runaround last week).

I received an SMS asking us to provide supporting documents for our daughter's unabridged birth certificate application. I found that strange. We've applied for unabridged birth certificates for our kids a few times before and have never before needed to provide any supporting docs.

Well, today, they wanted us to prove that she was born.

That's right. They wanted me to prove that the fourteen-year-old girl, standing in front of them holding her regular birth certificate, had been born.

Home Affairs has her ID number on record, which implies that she exists, but no copy of registration of her birth, which implies she wasn't born.

Our family may have one up on the Immaculate Conception.

My wife and I tried reasoning with the officials that we were holding both her abridged birth certificate and the old "full" birth certificate (which is not the same, you should know, as an unabridged birth certificate, because it is handwritten, not computer-generated). To my mind,that should have proven that she was born.

Apparently not.

You should have seen our daughter's face I informed on the way home from school that she exists, but wasn't necessarily born. I'm not sure if she felt special or simply confused...

This week's Parsha describes the Exodus. Jews existed before leaving Egypt. Then we were twelve tribes, usually called the "Bnei (Children of) Israel".

Yet, the prophet Ezekiel notes that, only once we left Egypt, were we "born". You may wonder how a nation can exist, yet not be born. Consider that a baby exists for nine months before being born. During that time, the fetus is well nourished and secure, but unable to function independently. An unborn baby cannot make a difference in the world- and the entire reason we were put here is to make a difference.

Egypt (Mitzrayim in Hebrew) is a state of being. As long as a person doesn't push past their comfort zone and take risks to make the world a better place, they are enslaved by the can't-do mentality of Egypt.

One step into the unknown; one the brave leap into making change equals birth.

Many people exist. A Jew has to constantly be reborn.

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