Tuesday, November 25, 2008

May you be comforted

I don't even know where to start with this. We have ongoing assignments in Ulpan to write a story on a particular topic and read it in front of the class. The current topic is "best friend."

This morning in class, a student wrote about his first wife, who died a few years ago. Today was her yahrzeit. She sounds like she was an amazing woman, and our classmate certainly did his part in elevating her neshama (soul) today. It was a privilege to share in her story.

That's not what got to me. Well, yes, her story did touch me, of course. But in any classroom, anywhere, this story could have been heard. Many people have lost loved ones, and have shared stories about them.

But what wouldn't typically happen in a typical classroom anywhere? You wouldn't have the entire class be attentive while the storyteller gave a learning, and then stand together while he recited Kaddish (mourner's prayer), with nearly the whole class giving the appropriate responses. You wouldn't have that followed by a little nosherei in the wife's honour. You wouldn't have all this done with the teacher's approval, encouragement and participation.

It was an honour to be a part of this man's observance of his first wife's yahrzeit, and I am grateful he felt this was something he wanted to share with his classmates. And I am so grateful to be in a country where this didn't seem at all out of place. To anyone.

May her memory be for a blessing.


DrSavta said...

That was really touching!

Rachel Inbar said...

Gosh, I wish I were still appreciating all the good stuff here rather than being disappointed that there's nowhere fun you can travel to by car (I mean out of the country) and that I can't find E width shoes...

Altmans said...

Oh, I expect I'll find lots of things to be disappointed in (natural peanut butter is SO hard to find! Please tell me *why* we're throwing out tins instead of recycling them? Why??), but I hope I'll always remember to appreciate things like this.

When I moved to Vancouver, I constantly talked about how amazing the mountains looked. A few people said after a little while, I wouldn't even notice them anymore. After 10 years, I was still oohing and aahing over the beautiful, majestic mountains. That's my inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I hear you on the mountains. Folks said the same thing about Albuquerque, but I never stopped loving it.

And I tagged you for a meme when you're not overwhelmed learning Hebrew. :)