life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On Rosh Hashanah it is written...

Dress, ballet flats, sweater.  Necessities in the red tote bag.  The morning air is cool.  The leaves have begun to turn, early this year because of the drought.   Leaves crunch beneath my feet as I walk.  Is it really October?   So soon?  Where did the summer go?

The path to the synagogue is oh so familiar.  Half a mile, up and down two hills.   I don't walk out of religious conviction per se, but rather, because parking is impossible and I'd feel guilty taking up a space that someone else might need. 

I walk alone:  my mother and sisters have never been interested in synagogue services, my daughters stopped attending by the time they reached college age.  My father...my father loved to go to shul on the High Holy Days.  He used to walk with me. 

An exchange of greetings...L'Shanah Tovah, have a happy new year. I claim a prayer book, find my seat, don my tallit. Immerse my self in the ancient rituals. 

The High Holy Days, a time of reflection and introspection, a time to examine our souls...

And then I see it....in the prayer book....

May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life.

And the tears well up.  I wasn't expecting them, I thought my crying moment had come and gone Sunday afternoon, sobbing in the car between the liquor store and the bakery. 

There is light and love in the house this holiday.  Laughter and singing and brisket and gefilte fish. So different from last year, where we gathered in a hospital room.  Where the kind chabadnik rabbi gave us apples and packets of honey and offered to say healing prayers.  .Where I sat in this synagogue and prayed that the Almighty would take him already, end his suffering.

He died on October 7, the day after Simchat Torah. The quirkiness of the Jewish calendar means we won't observe his yartzeit until the end of the month.  But yes, I am feeling his absence now...

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