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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones


I did it, I read from the Torah scroll this morning for the very first time. And just to ensure that I can chant under pressure, my cantor had me read in the library while a study group from Or Chadash gathered around the table. They were all there early and I was just chanting away. I really appreciate how nice they were to me and that they joined in the Shehechyanu after I read.

I have finally sorted out honors for Friday night and Saturday morning. All I have to say is that my children are going to read all seven portions, that way I can really give out honors. Instead of just two. If I’d realized how much it would limit the number of honors, I’d have learned more. Seriously. I have a few friends and a few long-time congregants that I respect.

The couple doing torah blessings on Friday night is not a couple I ever really talk to, but I appreciate that they are always at shul together. I asked them to say the blessings while we were at the Purim party last night. I told them that it is because I hope to have a marriage like the one they have. They agreed to do the blessings together. Hooray!

Candle lighting is a friend who is a newish member of the congregation, but only in comparison to people who have been members for 40 years. She has accepted every phone call from me when I was whining about not knowing what ettiquette said I should do for certain things. She never treats me like I’ve ask a stupid question.

For G’lilah, I have another long-time congregant who is always front and center on Saturday mornings. He is well versed in Torah and Jewish history. Again, I hope that when I am his age, I will have his sharp memory and tenacious spirit.

A good friend and hebrew teachers graciously accepted to read haftorah. Again, an example of the type of person I want to be. She’s a teacher and a learned Jew. Involved in the congregation and in her family. She always has an extra seat or three at her holiday tables. Todah Rabah.

Torah blessings on Saturday morning are two of my closest friends who are also my peers in age. Again, they are good Jews–always curious about learning more, they value family and friendships… in fact neither makes much distinction between friends and family when it comes to supporting others.

My ark openers are from my social group Loosely Defined. All men, I think I might have asked too many. Oops. There will be a bit of a logjam at the ark, but we’ll work it out. Right? Again, these are all men who have made a renewed adult commitment to Judaism. They are active members of the congregation and the people I spend my holidays with.

I have had so many people offer food and other hospitality things. Flowers, a voice recorder, a house to celebrate in, food, food, food. I’m sure I’ll be writing thank you notes for a year after the fact. I am so excited and now that I’ve actually sneaked a peak at the Torah scroll, I know that this is actually going to happen. Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah.

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