Tag Archives: shabbat

Enough already.

If the line for a new iPhone on Friday morning for a new iPhone offers some imprecise temperature reading– on the state of the economy in the suburb I drove to just outside of my city, or perhaps an indicator of how often Apple can release a new version of the iPhone and get the attention of a big group of consumers–and if those things really matter ( I would say the former does and the latter definitely doesn’t)–then I would say that as to the former we are in trouble and as to the latter, I’ll leave that analysis to the Apple marketing people.

I’ll just say three things and then it really is enough already (well it was enough before I started this post, but I’m asking your indulgence).  One is that I got there just as the store opened rather than a half hour earlier as I had intended.  There was a line of about 8-10 people ahead of me and I waited about the same amount of time to start and complete the whole transaction as I think I did the first time in the retail store there– when I got that old-fashioned iPhone 4 just two weeks earlier.

Two is that because of our schedule that day, I did bring my daughter with me for this transaction– and she was very cheerful and incredibly good-natured about the whole thing.  I really love her for this cheerful, helpful way she can be and her good, good company.  She spent the whole time we were in there at the side, playing with the iPhone 4s and then taught me to use certain features on the phone as soon as we got in the car.  You go, girl.

Third is that from all the reports, I am very happy to be able to say that there were, as far as I could tell– far more people participating in Occupy Wall Street that Friday, than there were people waiting for a new iPhone.  So, though I didn’t quite have my own actions and priorities just right on Friday, many did.  Phew….Really.

I do have a new phone, I had a great time out with my daughter early in that morning and it was much and I do mean much, ado about nothing.  And despite a very, very rainy soggy day, my daughter and partner headed out for a Girl Scout camping trip not long after we got home and had a beautiful weekend.  For a number of reasons I didn’t go on this trip, but I missed them a lot.  And, as promised, I met my sister who arrived in town Friday afternoon to see her older boy after his first seven weeks of college, and Isaac and we headed to Shabbat services, where we really do turn off our cell phones for a couple of hours.

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A 2011 Shabbat– Friday, January 14 MLK weekend

I am sitting at the dining room table with the Shabbat candles burning.  My daughter and one of her very best friends– our neighbor from up the street, and a young person who I particularly love being around myself– are watching a DVD about 6 feet from me.  I spent much of the day with them.  There was no school today and I fixed lunch for them (well, to be truthful, we made nachos and then I threw something else together that could hardly have been called a healthy meal) and we took off for a museum that has a lot of hands-on stuff where we spent far longer than I would ever have imagined they would have wanted.

They are very excited because the stars lined up and the four parents involved have agreed on a sleepover for them here.  It is cold for this part of the world– and has been cold with ice and snow on the ground for over a week and so the candles bring not only light, but a feeling of warmth into the house.  My mind is heavy with hard things– but the candles and these two girls are the counterpoint and I love being home with them.

Several miles away at our synagogue, the annual musical Shabbat service honoring and commemorating Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; a service filled with beautiful, hopeful, uplifting music sung by a Jewish choir and an African American choir, is just concluding.  We had planned to go, but for a number of reasons, and although it was hard to miss, we decided to stay home instead.  I know I am missing something important and today though I had many things to do, I thought a lot about the meaning that the movement for civil rights for black people, offered me as a young person.  I feel very lucky to have been very young in a time infused, top to bottom, with fairly open struggles about racism, war, conscience, morality and values.  Not that I feel lucky to have been young in a time when there was racism and war, but lucky to have been born in a time when there was such open dialogue about those issues– as well as vibrant, progressive social movements fighting for change.  I do still believe that young people and young adults were responsible in significant measure, for many of the important victories of that time.

My first post on this blog, a post called, Skin, was posted on January 18, 2010 and described, literally, my own skin, the small surgery I had just had for a squamous cell carcinoma and many other things, including the MLK service at our congregation one year ago.  It is just past one year since I set up this blog and nearly one year since I posted my first real post.  I do not think this writing, just me at my dining room table, or in the guest room or bedroom are a substitute for the things people did– all together, in churches, synagogues, on the streets and in living rooms in all kinds of places– in Dr. King’s time– to change our world.  But I am glad to have this collective community of readers, thinkers, friends known and unknown– all of you, thinking, hoping, planning for a future for ourselves and our children.  And very glad to have these candles burning, my partner making a simple, delicious dinner and these two girls– so close by.

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