Chronicles from Home

Part  5

"Rosh Hashanah"

October 1, 2003


Life is a delicate balancing act as I just found out by reading Dr Seuss -- All the Places You Go.

Life is a struggle daily between our body and our soul.  Every Rosh Hashanah, until now, I have felt torn between my prayers and my actions.  I was always trying to elevate my soul and longing for the return to Yerushalayim, while my feet were solidly anchored on French or American soil.  This always made me uneasy because something was missing.

No longer.

For the first time in my life, this Rosh Hashanah, my body and my soul were perfectly united.  While my soul was crying to rebuild David's Glory, my body was crying right along, praying for our safety and for the recognition of HaShem and His People by the Nations.

This new understanding took place in the house of a wonderful family during Rosh Hashanah services.  It all started in a strange way.  The day before, I was feeling a little down, knowing that I would not be able to pray the way I would have liked to.  Many American comforts have finally made it to Israel, but childcare at synagogue did not make Aliyah yet.  But, suddenly the clouds parted when Rich told me about a family that was hosting services in their large home -- a block from us.  I canít describe my delight.  The fact that their house was 45 seconds from our home and their basement den was filled with toys and sitters was irresistible.  So I went with the children.

I discovered that a house can, in fact, become a small Beit Hamikdash.  It was an extremely moving experience.  The mehitza separating men from women consisted of tall, elegant vases filled with beautiful flowers. The living room had a built-in Aron Kodesh holding the Torah.  Nothing was missing.  The prayers were supported by their beautiful voices of friends and family.  I was deeply touched, especially by some of the melodies from the Six Day War. The D'var Torah (sermon) was equally uplifting and inspiring.

Needless to say, I cried from the beginning to the end. 

Everything made sense, all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.  There was neither conflict nor fear anymore.  I only felt the quiet assurance that my feet were finally anchored in the right place, at the right time.

For the part of me that was born in the Sixties, this is called "Nirvana". 

For the part of me that was born a long time ago, in warm sand, at the foot of Har Sinai, this is called Emet (Truth).

Sara Brownstein

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