Patricia Goldblatt

Dressing [and Undressing] the Torah

Called up to the synagogue bimah to put the cover back on the Torah, she receives — unanticipated — her flash of illumination.

I rarely frequent synagogues. Even with my father’s yahrzeit, I disliked being lost in the too-fast romp through prayers that left me continually searching for a familiar word once gleaned in Hebrew School. The experience is more treasure hunt than homage or call to remembrance, and it ends in frustration and embarrassment. My husband usually accompanies me when I go to shul and is able to point to what page, what line, what psalm is being chanted, in the blur of flying pages, by someone who usually sings rather nasally.

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