After Yom Kippur 5775

Reunion with the Peskies and the Fuzzies.When Pesky saw me he came over into the women’s section and gave me a hug! I said, “is this the place?” He said, “you’re family.”

Pesky has grown a beard! Pesky jr is turning into a man and seems (keyn eyn hara) to be outgrowing some of his difficulties. Mrs. Pesky has begun to publish her poetry. Mr. Fuzzy is still quiet. And Mrs. Fuzzy still hates synagogues. There’s a certain reassurance to all of these conversations and above all: acceptance. Of them. Of me! I belong. Yossi the gabbai said to me — I heard your voice and I did a double take and I had to go look over the mechitzah. It was you! I’m glad you moved back! Did you cut your hair?

This was my fourth Yom Kippur in this shul — that is almost a record for me in a single shul. I’m almost always a visitor, somewhere. As ambivalent as I felt about many aspects of this move — this shul is my home. Every now and then Pesky says “this is the shul of the broken toys” and that’s a good description of it. There are a few traditional families, but it’s made up mostly of Chasidim who don’t square with Chabad since Menachem Mendel Schneersohn’s death, people who are out of the usual Jewish life cycle pattern (university students, but also elderly people without relatives, people like me who never married), those of us who are unable to conform to the social demands of the traditional synagogue — just all kinds of people who don’t fit anywhere else but we all fit together in this place. It doesn’t even bother me anymore when someone praises my davening (a major faux pas) — I just smile and move the prayer book closer to my face. Today I took off my glasses to emphasize my unavailability to anyone except G-d.

I have a history of profound experiences in this setting on Yom Kippur (2011 and 2013; for reasons to do with my family and harassment I had to make the 2012 post around my uncle’s death private, but it was a similar thing). The profundity this time was realizing that, however provisional it might be — this is my place. We all belong together here. Even ambivalent me. I belong.

~ by Servetus on October 5, 2014.

9 Responses to “After Yom Kippur 5775”

  1. To me this sounds like a promising start. Glad you have found a place to belong. It should be wherever you are. ❤


  2. It is good to hear that you feel a sense of belonging.


  3. Great!
    It’s the first time since 33 years that Yom Kippur and Eid El kebir (eid al adha) are celebrated the same day ^^


  4. Really happy to read you feel at home there and you feel you belong and that people around you make you feel you belong. Good to feel you are at your home, yes? 🙂 sounds like a good Yom Kippur x


  5. […] last fall, when I got back, I started going to shul again, feeling at first like I was really at home, but quickly I realized that the summer away had been decisive. While I was gone, the nusach had […]


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