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.

Erased - Elizabeth K. Bogard


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