Thursday, August 23, 2018

#BlogElul 2018 Day 13Remember

I remember the claw legs on my Grandmother Cecilia’s dining room table. I referred to them as lion paws. Did my grandmother really trample grapes and make wine or did my older cousin Jerry make that story up? But I do remember when she combed her hair out and then twisted it up into a bun— fastened with a tortoise barrette.

I remember my Grandfather David davening. I also recall him giving out small Israeli flags to all his grandchildren. 

On the High Holy Days his three sons went to shul with him. It was the only time of the year my father went to services. Even though neither my mother nor I went to temple, I had to wear a dress and I could not carry money. 

I shared a bedroom with my Grandmother Yette. She didn’t go to services, but had an intimate relationship with God. I remember having a terrible cough and my grandmother making up some sort of horrible compress and asking God to heal the cough. She simply addressed God— usually apologizing for yet another request. She was always asking for customers for her friend Mrs. Ruben. And God probably prodded her into purchasing pot holders and dish towels.

I remember my mother telling me to walk to shul and say hello to my grandfather, uncles, and my father. It was a long service and the shul was small, crowded, and hot. Every hour they came out to get some fresh air. I walked over with my friend Nina. They weren’t outside, but we could hear the intoning of Hebrew. Then one voice chanting a haunting melody.

I am always moved when I hear a hazzan ( cantor )sing. 
Gregorian chants and many Hebrew chants  touch my soul.


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