Sitting Together During Services – M.E. Silverman
July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
When the sanctuary fills
for Simchat Torah, she sits
below the podium, separated
from me by two chairs, one
with Ruth, our child, who waves
a flag from another country,
and the other by my ex-wife’s
new man, a blond Hemingway type:
full of sun and travel, owns
a plane, at ease with stories.
We are a Reformed sect.
The Rabbi starts to sing,
starts to sway and shift
from foot to foot with the Torah
above his head. He makes
the seven circuits around the room.
Everyone is ready for the merging
of endings to beginnings:
And this is the blessing
wherewith Moses the man of God
blessed the children of Israel…
Later, when the room revels in laughter
and candy for the kids, people kiss strangers.
We welcome the new book, sing and clap
and into the ark, we close the old one.
My wife cups her left hand
to whisper into his ear. He laughs
a little too loud.
The sermon quotes Einstein,
how our very existence is not lines
but curves—like a ceremony
that starts at one point and ends elsewhere.