There are times when the world sends you a message. Everything aligns and it’s very clear to you what you must do. Your question is answered. I got such a message the other day, the end of Yom Kippur.
There’s a lot of back story to this so it maybe yet another tl;dr. I am affiliated with a congregation where I pay dues, celebrate all my life events, all my family and many of my friends are there and it is “my” congregation. But on the High Holidays, for many many years, I davened elsewhere, at a only-for-the-High-Holidays congregation. Long story why, but I did and my son and I loved it there. Not only did we belong, we were integral to the functioning. But as many things do, it ended. No more congregation. My son and I went to “our” congregation for the next HH. But to our dismay we found although we loved being with our friends and family, we did NOT like the liturgy, not at all. What to do? So we went to another HH congregation that used the liturgy we preferred. We had no friends, no family there. Just each other. It was okay. Not great. But we had each other so we continued. This year my son lives in another state and could not come back for the holidays. I went alone. I was lonely. I GO to services in part to “belong”, to feel a part of the community. This year I was lonely and realized it wasn’t working for me. I had a few choices. “My” congregation. The congregation in town where I know lots of people and they use the similar liturgy but…. not so fond of other things. The minyan congregation – a break-away from the in-town one where I probably know a lot of people. I sat at services and missed my old congregation. Really really missed it. Trying to figure out what to do, where I should turn.
So where’s the world-message? I had a friend, Victor, at our HH congregation. Victor taught me a lot about prayer, customs. He too was integral to that congregation. We’d not seen him for years. He’d been in very poor health. I searched his name and found his obituary. Four years ago. Sigh. It’s the first time, however, in all these years that I actually took the action to try to find him. Then, just before the holiday started I stopped at the store for some bread and there was Lucille – another integral member of the HH congregation. That’s two messages coming through the ether.
I went to the morning services and the one person I knew there since my childhood did not come. 😦 So the one bit of ‘family’ I was anticipating wasn’t there. I sat on my porch in the afternoon and debated returning for the closing services. A woman walked by, turned back, walked up my walk. It was Susan, also a member of the HH team. 🙂 We chatted and laughed and reminisced and agreed we missed the “old team”. She was going to the minyan service. On impulse I asked “can I go with you?” She said of course! And off we walked. When I walked in, there was yet another member of the “old team” – Alice. Susan had told me Alice would be there. The message, however, was WHERE Alice was sitting. She was next to my very good friend Amy!!!!! They were sitting in front of my friend Judy. As I sat down, and looked across the room, there was Pam. *smile* The liturgy was familiar and friends were there. I was HOME. I was so happy and so comforted. For me, it completed the holiday.
The world sent its message. It was very clear. It’s time to move to the minyan and find the community and comfort I used to have. I don’t have to be told twice. Isn’t it satisfying when you find what you sought? Thanks, world!!!