Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Year of Mourning- Yom Kippur Memory

This was meant to be a commentary on Yom Kippur and Yizkor. The Hagim were so busy there was barely time to think, but by Yizkor I had a break. I came into t’fillot during the sermon, slowly making my way to the front of the room. (That’s where all the empty seat are. No one wants to sit up front.) Yizkor hadn’t really affected me before, and so it caught me very much off guard to discover tears streaming down my cheeks. As we began, a tear or two formed, slowly making its way over my lids to run down my cheek. Then another, and another, and... And me with no tissues and an Israel Bonds appeal to give right after. Maybe that’s what did it. In my appeal I credited my mother with my  love of holidays and Jewish culture, but my father with my faith and my love of Israel. He made four trips to Israel, all in my lifetime. He loved it there, and my values and outlook about Israel are heavily influenced by him.

After Yizkor I dried my tears and delivered my appeal with only a small amount of voice cracking. (It may have made it that much more meaningful.) Then I headed to the main sanctuary for an uninterrupted Musaf with no responsibilities. Little did I know Daddy would be there with me. During the Amidah I pulled his tallit over my head, and the tears began anew. This was no ladylike weeping, I was outright balling. I don’t think I’ve done that except in short moments when alone. But there I was. Standing on the Beth Tzedec bima, YK Musaf, wrapped in my father’s tallit crying my eyes out. And yet, it was a very private moment. With the tallit over my head, no one knew unless they were watching the shake of my shoulders. And so, although surrounded by my community, I still stood alone.

And then it passed. And I was me again.

Shanah tovah.

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