Saturday, October 23, 2004

Shabbat Afternoon

We’re having a lazy Shabbat afternoon watching the Cactus Wrens do their thing in our backyard. A friend of my daughter’s celebrates her Bat Mitzvah today and we went along with our daughter to synagogue. Of course, she wouldn’t be caught dead with us, so we dropped her off so she could sit with friends while we took our usual seats (OCD behavior).

It was a bittersweet day, filled with life’s juxtaposition: while this young girl and her family beamed with pride, the wife of the late, beloved Rabbi Herbert Silberman showed deep, heartfelt emotion. I went over to console her at one point; she called me on my birthday and I was so deeply touched that I wanted to go over and thank her in person. The late Rabbi Silberman had tutored the young girl who celebrates her big day today, and that had to make the day extra painful for his wife.

I told my wife that it’s all right to grieve with such passion. In order to truly understand the heights of joy and happiness in life, you also must be prepared to cope with life’s horrors and sadness. Still, our heart aches for her in her period of mourning.

Tonight, my daughter will be at her friend’s celebration party and we will be out to dinner in honor of our recent birthdays.