After many years of friends asking me, “Why aren’t you writing about your work” and my husband encouraging me to start a blog, I’m taking the plunge. The first hurdle (apart from the technical issue of how to set up a blog) was to think of a name. Unlike another kind of writing, you can’t just write as much as you like and tag a title on at the end. To start a blog, you need a name, a somewhat daunting challenge since often it is writing itself which gives birth to a title. Blogs, it seems, do not work this way.
The rabbis of old tell us that at the moment of choosing a name for a child a parent is sprinkled with prophecy, and the name then chosen has an impact on the character and destiny of a child, so I come from a tradition where choosing a name is a weighty matter. I certainly do not claim to have been touched by prophecy – or anything other than anxiety – in choosing a blog name, but in considering various possibilities, I knew that the theme I wanted to convey to readers was one of peace and tranquility.
Odd, I know for a blog of the musings of a family law lawyer, and even odder, for a lawyer who lives and works in the middle of the city of Jerusalem, to make peace and tranquility her calling card. However, in doing so, I was compelled by three primary motives. First, when I myself divorced many years ago (since, I have happily remarried and for the record, am a big fan of the institution of marriage, good ones that is) my strongest desire and the mantra in my head, was to build a quiet and tranquil life for myself and my children. Second, I think that one of the most important roles a good family lawyer can play in the life of someone going through extreme personal turmoil is to provide shelter from the storm, to allow the client to feel that in the midst of the maelstrom there is a tranquil corner.
It’s not always going to be that way; I too get frustrated by the system, by lawyers who put their egos and bank accounts above the needs of their own clients (to say nothing of the children whose well-being is at stake) and by destructive parties whose sole goal in proceedings to ensure that the other side is left bleeding on the ground, with no one to even scrape the body off the pavement. Having said that however, as I see it, the job of the family lawyer, is to bring the client to the place where they can see the light at the end of the tunnel, where the process can empower them and leave them prepared to handle their new, separate life with strength and dignity.
This leads me to the third motive for the name, the missing peace, which is what the client should gain by the end of the process, that is, the peace, whether internal, external or both, that was missing from their lives. The missing peace that propelled them into the process, whether legal proceedings were their initiative, or initially against their will. Divorce is a painful wrenching for most people, but I think that what sustains those of us who take our job seriously is those cases where, at the end of the road we can see how far the client has come, and know that the road upon which he or she has embarked has indeed brought them that missing peace.