There’s something about our prayer in Judaism –
That’s out of necessity, out of an evergreen survival mode; but some periods of survival are more… necessity than others.
I think that’s what fueled the magnet that drew me, compelled me, to shul this past shabbat.
I had to be among those communal words, those collective pages. I had to hold the words in my hands, close to everyone else holding them in their hands, in between their lips.
Wartime shul; not the first time, no.
Pogrom-era shul; maybe that’s a first for me. And likely most everyone else around me.
It’s meaningful to hold those words on your tongue, decades after you were introduced to them; years and years of saying them, repeating them; activated with meaning you never imagined you’d encounter directly. Or you did. In nightmares. In memories that are not exactly yours.
The words floating off your tongue, between your lips, out into the air where your tears have not yet dried; they keep coming.
Words, and tears.
The same words our families said before the pogrom; the same words their survivors said after the pogrom.
Over, and over, and over,
and… the words are more alive than ever. Each curve of each letter… built for this.