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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Aliyah surprise.

This morning my cantor caught me off gaurd, “Leah, do you want to make aliyah today and say the blessings over the Torah?”

er, um, yes?

“Don’t worry, everything is up there. It is in Hebrew, in transliteration, and in English. I know you can say the Hebrew, but God speaks english too, if you get scared.”

Now, I do know the blessings. Come on, you can’t hear them everyweek for over a year and not learn them. So when it was time to make the blessings, I boldly chanted while reading the blessings written in Hebrew. Mistake, big mistake. I eventually got through them with some coaching from the congregation. Everyone knew I’d never made aliyah before, everyone knows that I’m a new Jew. Everyone maybe didn’t know that I had no warning.

For the blessings after reading Torah, I chanted while reading the transliterated Hebrew. It went much, much better. Then during haphtorah I held the Torah, which is a pretty overwhelming feeling (and it is heavy.)

After services, I met a couple with the woman in the middle of her conversion studies. I invited them to sit with us at dinner next week. Us being my chevurah of 20/30/40s couples and singles mostly without kids. The truth is, Emanuel is starting to get a nice critical mass of young people in the congregation. Last night we had a post-oneg oneg at my house. A couple of new guys were there, so we dragged them along. It was lovely. I really adore the friends and the social circle that I have at my temple. If only there was a nice boy for me to date in the social circle, how nice would that be.

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