I wasn't going to write a new blog anytime soon, since I'm writing papers for grad school and that takes up all of my free time, but I just tried a new synagogue tonight and wanted to post a little shriek of joy.
Last night was the last night of my very first class in this program, and the wonderful earth mother type instructor led a closing ritual that sent us all home feeling connected and at peace. We were to bring in something important to us that we wanted to absorb all the energy and good intentions of our classmates and I brought in my soul, which needs healing. Deep healing.
How on earth does a person bring a soul and put it amidst twinkling lights in the center of a circle of women? Like this:
My loving friend long ago crocheted this perfect kippah for me, incorporating the Star of David and the Greek Key of my heritage, and I wanted it to soak up all the love and healing it could so that when I wore it, I would get some kind of healing.
We were to speak out words of intention and healing, and "grab" the words that others spoke to imbue our object with those that we needed.
I said Love and I said Patience. I took from others the words Surrender and Serenity. Perfect.
I decided to wear it to a new shul, one that is closer than the one I've been attending, and one that has potential to be my new one, since I have to change soon for reasons I don't want to discuss. I'll go to some services at the old one, and still lean on the clergy for support and compassion, but I need a new shul home and so far so good.
I entered the chapel where the small Kabbalat Shabbat service would be held and was warmly greeted by everyone. They made a point of coming up to introduce themselves, and I felt a sense of deja vu as I saw rug rats running wild amid embarrassed young parents and indulgent older people. Like me. I remember being that embarrassed parent, and I never understood the fond smiles from those older than me..until now.
OH I LOVE THIS!!!
This is not MY child, or a child from tonight. Just an internet image but it captures it well. I remember being embarrassed and the rabbi saying "Isn't it great that they feel so at home in shul?'
Well...YES! One little toddler went around the whole chapel, shaking everyone's hand and saying "goodbabbas" to everyone. My heart melted. It WAS good baba, btw, but that's off topic...
I was handed good old Siddur Sim Shalom and felt my face shine with a smile that came all the way from my toes, since I hadn't seen one since leaving Brith Kaboom...er...Shalom back home. The melodies were sometimes familiar ones from back then, some I recognized from my local shul, and even some from Berkeley! And a couple were Israeli dances I had a hard time not dancing to. That wouldve been ok, as the enthusiastic pounding of a table behind me showed me. People closed their eyes and swayed, they smacked their leg in time, they stopped to cross over and hug someone, the rabbi sang descant and the chaotic singing in ALMOST the same key sounded like that holy hubbub of Orthodox shuls. What a great mix!
The dvar was short and taught me something I'd never heard of, which for a bookaholic like me, is quite a treat.
Then we adjourned to the Room With Too Much Food.
Where at long last, I finally tasted a GOOD store bought challah. Not this one, of course:
I met a woman who is in nursing school and wants to invite me over if ever our nursey type schedules ever work out, and she doesn't write on Shabbat in shul. Ahhhhhh. I'm home again.
I drove out under a full moon that hurt my heart for reasons I won't go into, but made me smile too
And I went home to do this, and just sit. In sweet peace. I needed this. Shabbat Shalom, y'all!