Sunday, October 27, 2013

Just a Jew in the Pew

I couldn’t stop looking at the upside down Siddur Sim Shalom on the bookshelf in the back of the Jewish Chapel.  On Friday nights, the Jewish community uses a mixture of Gates of Prayer (primarily for Kabbalat Shabbat) and Likrat Shabbat (primarily for the Evening Service).  We keep around the Siddur Sim Shalom copies for Shabbat/Festival Morning services and because there is really nothing else to do with them. 

There it sat staring at me with its upside-down lettering on the binding standing out against all the other uniformly shelved books.  It was killing me.

There are a lot – and I mean a lot – of wonderful things about not running services in the Camp Foster Jewish Chapel on Friday nights.  My rush to pull myself together and get to services early has turned off; my need to be the last person out of the chapel on Friday night (“to win Kiddush”) has diminished. 

But while I sit back and let Rabbi Yonina Creditor take charge of the service, I find myself staring at little things and obsessing over them.  

My first week, I stared down a picture frame that still had plastic protector over it; when the ark opened I noticed the light was out.  The following Thursday, I went into the chapel and fixed them both.
For some reason, my eyes wandered to the back of the room this past week.  And there it was.  I couldn’t leave the room without fixing it.

Transitions are tough.  I trust Rabbi Creditor implicitly, and I pretty much begged my leadership to send her/any rabbi out here to serve the base community.  But a little bit of me is sad to see that part of my life come to an end, to see the chapel that I tried to restore being run by another, to let go of the reins.  It’s tough…but it’s awesome. 

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