For a long time, whenever I asked people to describe me, they'd quickly say: "Oh girl, you're inteligent." As much as I felt flattered by it, it was also kind of hard hearing to this. Does it mean that all I was, was just being a walking encyclopedia? I started to worry about what kind of person I might be... feeling-wise, let's say. I got quite unsatisfied that people would get to know me and leave with the impression that I was not much more than someone with much knowledge, but few more than that. Than I decided to add a little bit more of a heart to all this brain-powered human being.
But how should I start? I had no idea! What would/should I do? I had no idea, but I knew that something was missing in my life. Then the Operation Pillar of Defense started. My country was under attack. Living in Jerusalem, you get much less of the stress than the people who live down south and by the border. But even tthough your life is affected and I felt it to be even more affected when Jerusalem itself was attacked. 'Miss Hildebrandt, what could you do?' The only things I really know how to do are: teaching, cooking and baking. Well, I dediced that it had to be enough to start with. If the only thing I knew how to do to help out other people was baking, then this was what I would be doing.
And I cannnot explain here how thankful I am for my decision! I started a volunteer project in which on a weekly basis (unless I really cannot) I bake around 20 medium-sized challot. Nowadays my friends know that I have a very important appointment on Thursday evenings. I stay up until late night baking. 'Now what, Miss Hildebrandt'?, you'll ask. 'You and many other people bake on Thrusday evening for Shabat.' Yes, I know it. But the reason I bake is because on Friday morning I take all these chalot to the Lone Soldier Center, here in Jerusalem, and they're given out to soldiers from all over the world who are in Israel to serve in the army. Their whole time is dedicated to keep my country safe and running. So I dedicate some of my time to make them happy.
The Brayilian poet Paulo Leminski once wrote that "The pain always knocks on our doors, but it only hurts if it's ours." In my case, I needed two visits to bomb shelters to realise that I could do more for the soldiers than just praying for them. And I'm really extremely happy to let you know that last Friday I baked around 80 to 90 Hamantaschen, that were delivered on Friday at the Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center. I really hope that the soldiers were at least half as happy by eating the Hamantaschen as I was by baking them.
By the way, do you already know the amazing lifestory of Michael Levin and the Lone Soldier Center that received his name? Not yet? Check it out on http://lonesoldiercenter.com/