We’ve all been home so much during this past year, who would expect to enjoy being “even more at home?” But that’s what it felt like walking into Shomrei and up the stairs and into the service on Shabbat.
Of course I picked up the wrong prayer book but didn’t even notice the pages being called were the wrong pages, because I could not pay attention to the prayer book at all. It was the Rabbi – live on the bima – the congregants – live surrounding me – the singing – reverberating through the room – the Torah on the bima (I was late…) being chanted live so beautifully – it was all I could attend to; the prayer book would have to wait.
A home where Geoff was coming around offering me an aliyah and gently letting me know I had the wrong prayer book, but “it’s all in there, just on different pages – no worry”; a home where a young child came in and sat at his father’s feet as if this was the most natural place to be; a home where we each performed our aliyot in the socially distant way but in a way that didn’t make us feel distant at all; a home where rituals could be carried out in a new and comfortable way keeping traditions and maybe making new ones.
It felt like a home where I could tear up at the warmth and familiarity from the Rabbi’s presence as he led us in prayer – only then realizing what I had been missing while we all “made do” and “stayed strong” – that home is not just the place you have been doing everything in this past year – it is also a feeling you may not even realize you were missing, until you get it back.
And it doesn’t require tuna fish.